The extreme winds forecasted to start mid-day really didn’t culminate where I was today, but I also got off the mountain by 130pm or so. High lenticular cloud over the Owens Valley today, but mostly sunny. 25degF @ 10500ft at noon. Light to moderate SW breeze in the mid elevations.
I toured up Elderberry canyon today and ascended northerly terrain on the wall that divides Elderberry and the big East Gully. Coverage is excellent for skinning, starting from 5500ft elevation it was a breeze to get up there, compared to the mile walk on dirt I was doing last season just reach snowline. The wind has taken its toll and most surfaces are quite wind effected as of today with some north aspects harboring nice soft snow still where you can find the orange peel texture. Overall coverage is fantastic as well and the main canyon and headwall are filled in nicely for this time of the year. It should provide for a great spring season up there. I did not observe any recent avalanche activity, nor encounter any signs of instability while traveling on steep terrain. There were remanent debris piles coming off the many north facing chutes mid canyon that occurred during the storms of December. Overall, around 2-4 feet total depth on upper north aspects above 9K, now with most surfaces with a robust 2-6inch wind board. 65% of the descent today was breakable crust and the other 35% still nice faceting soft surfaces. A good robust alpine ski or board is the ticket now as well as some crampons and axe if thinking about ascending steeper terrain.
Moderate to Hard to results on block tests, you can check out the videos or snow profile for more information.