Felt that if there were to be any loose wet instability anywhere today it would have been in the area and terrain we travelled – directly south facing, relatively low elevation yet still good snow coverage with some narrow moderately steep sections confined by warming rocks and cliffs. The localized weather was thin cloud cover, much thinner than it sounded like in other areas of the forecast zone where clouds were thicker. We encountered no signs of concerning levels of loose wet snow.
Confidence in Rating:
Luck was on our side today, and clouds stayed thin where we were this morning and allowed south facing terrain between 7,800′ and 10,800′ to soften almost perfectly for our 12:30pm descent. Despite light winds and mild temperatures, our expectations were low this morning with the forecast calling for mostly cloudy skies throughout the day. We were prepared to abort our southerly facing terrain destination and head to wintery northerly facing terrain with our arsenal of crampons and ice picks, but the clouds were on our side. Often it’s better to be lucky than to be good! That being said, prepare yourself for the worst, have a backup plan and be flexible.
Lundy Canyon – 10:45am – Thin clouds
Boot penetration remained half-boot top at the very most until atleast 1pm even at the lower elevations, and ski penetration totally supportable and just right for good skinning purchase without crampons from 10am onward.
South Facing Slope Mount Olson – 10:45am, 9,500′. – Ski Penetration
Mt Olson – South Facing, 10,600′, 12:30pm. – Ski Penetration.
Mount Olson – South facing terrain, 10:45am, ~9,500′ – Boot penetration and its greatest.
Snow isn’t plowed past the first gate on Lundy Canyon Rd, ~3mi before Lundy Lake. Snow on the road was firm and still crispy at 1pm for our skate out.
Noticed this recent roof avalanche in town … crossing about half of the road! Not sure how recent, but seemed within the last few days. Could have surely buried someone in the wrong place at the wrong time! With these gradually warming temperatures lately, keep this in mind!
Recent roof avalanche in Mammoth, triggered by recent warming, covering half the road. Could surely have buried someone in the wrong place at the wrong time!
32°F at Noon at 10,800'
Very light upslope breeze in upper half of elevation travelled.