Clear, gorgeous day with light sw winds. Quite warm, 38F @ 1030 am at 9900ft.
I toured up from 4-Jeffery campground in the SF of Bishop Creek up Table Mountain and Bardini Canyon. Although there was enough snow to skin on and travel, I can’t recommend this zone for riding just yet. Although there is decent coverage, it is quite shallow throughout until you reach 9800ft or so. The shallow snowpack below 10000ft is comprised of the snowfall from Dec 13/14 and averages around 30-40cm in depth and is mostly faceted and has terrible panels of breakable crust and in places supportable wind board. I gingerly made my way down the east side of the mountain into the SF Bishop Creek community by utilizing the cross loaded drifted ribbons of snow on the northerly aspects of gully features to somewhat safely make it down. Snow depths increased in more sheltered terrain in trees around 10000ft. Here there was ~85cm of snow. There was 55cm of snow from the December storms sitting on 30cm of hollow, faceted snow at the base from the big October storm. Although the snowpack is relatively dormant without energy right now, I did get hard to moderate results on compression tests (CT26 @29cm Q2 & CT13 @29cm Q2) at the interface between the facets and last weeks storm at 29cm from ground. I could not get an Extended Column test to propagate on 2 attempts (ECTX x2).
So although unlikely to slide and unreactive at the moment, there is this upside down snowpack structure with a robust 45cm 4Finger -1Finger Slab sitting on loose 30cm Fist+ faceted snow at the base. This is why we have maintained the “Persistent slab” problem on the advisories just to keep this bad layering in mind and keep some focus on it until we get a new load and see what transpires when we hopefully get the projected significant snowfall this week over Christmas.