Definitely colder start to the day which felt great while ascending the mountain this morning. I toured up the south side of Lee Vining Canyon to check out northerly facing terrain to about 10000ft today. It was 26degF @ 1100am @ 9600ft with light breezes from the north, but relatively calm for the most part while I was out until 1pm.
The north wind event yesterday indeed did further damage to northerly aspects at and above tree line further eroding more snow from our dwindling pack. I measured from 50-90cm average snow above 9000ft and there is plenty of exposed rock and talus fields. Boiler plate wind slab and Sastrugi features dominated the open slopes and really did not offer any good skiing.
I poked in trees which were a mixed bag of wind board, light breakable crusts and some softer near surface facets. Down in the lower canyon below 8000ft the thin snowpack (30cm) is quite faceted and has zipper temperature and wind crusts. Surface Hoar was also well established on snow surface at lower elevations below 8K.
Sunny aspects in the canyon are burning out with a few ribbons remaining in gullies and cross-loaded easterly aspects. The road looked pretty clear all the way up to Tioga Peak.
There was some minor surface melting on protected solar aspect at lower elevations, but I don’t believe conditions made for any loose wet concerns today. It remained quite cool and the wind seemed to be picking up at higher elevations as I left around 130pm.
Obviously kind of boring in relation to hunting avalanches right now and travel continues to get more arduous by the day.
Light , NE
Light NE breezes, but relatively calm with cooler temperatures in the 20’s. Clear and beautiful with just a few scattered clouds.