The road into Lundy canyon is plowed to the first gate. Beyond here there is a healthy amount of snow on the road. I traveled on several aspects today (SE-E-N) as I toured to a bit above 10,000′ on the shoulder of Gilcrest peak. Making my way up Deer creek from the dam it was quite apparent that the winds have heavily impacted the area. Supportable wind board made for quick skinning up the lower angle terrain along the creek. I chose to wrap around to the SE side of Gilcrest to get t a look at a more solar aspect and to gauge the extent of and surface warming during today’s warm temps and full sun. There is still a decent amount of snow on the SE face of Gilcrest although across the creek on a more WSW aspect the snow has been almost entirely stripped back to bare ground. The exception is cross-loaded gully features that may provide slidable coverage. As Slope angles increased I was kicking myself for not bringing my ski crampons and decided boot packing would be more efficient. This lasted for about 200 yards when I moved on to a steeper, more solar aspect and skinning became once again the preferred method of travel. I observed only moderate amounts of surface warming (~1cm moist grains) up to about 9500′. I was able to initiate some decent-sized pinwheels at one point near a rock outcropping where moist grains made up the top ~2″ of snow, however for the most part I did not find the warming to be concerning.
Wind slabs were not a concern for me today in the areas I traveled. While the signs of recent strong winds were present everywhere, I was unable to find any areas with reactive deposits. Some areas of shallow wind board broke loose into shallow dinner plates and slid downhill but over all exposed areas in this area are more stripped than loaded.
More present for me today was the challenging travel conditions. I was unable find an area that was not impacted by the wind to some extent today. I found many areas of breakable wind board ranging in depth from 1″ – 6″ and the (very) occasional patch of loose faceted snow. However, the bulk of snow surfaces encountered today consisted of very hard supportable wind board. On the plus side, I would say my turns down the NE chute off the shoulder of Gilcrest were predictable, edgeable, and consistently supportable. On the downside, it was quite firm and unforgiving. A fall in the wrong place today could have led to a nasty slide. All in all, it was a beautiful day in the hills and quite an adventure.
I observed evidence of several avalanches in the area that likely occurred either during the most recent storm or in the subsequent wind loading events. I observed muted crown lines near the top of each of the forks of the East gully and a decent debris pile on the mid-slope bench of the N-facing chute I chose to ski today.
I left the car this morning under clear skies, chilly temperatures in the high 20°f and virtually calm winds. Temps increased and maxed out in the mid to upper 30°s and with the full California sun out in force, I felt quite warm for much of the day. Winds picked up around noon out of the NE Gusty at first by 1 pm or so they seemed to be more consistent. Speeds ranged from moderate to strong all afternoon however only minimal amounts of wind transport were observed.Close