I managed to find some sun-softened snow on the backside of Mammoth Mountain today despite the thin cloud cover, chilly temperatures, and moderate winds out of the NNE.
Surface snow was locked up and icy leaving the summit of Mammoth mountain this afternoon. Sliding on this refrozen textured mess was a leg-burning, teeth-chattering, high adventure type of experience until about 10,500′ or so. Below here I observed superficial warming on sun-exposed slopes, that provided my knees with a bit of a respit. The snow is quite 3 dimensional and “crunchy” but it was a pleasant decent all the same. No signs of excessive warming in this area today, 2-5 cm of moist grains at the most. Significant snow loss has occurred in this area since my last visit. Due south and southwest tilted slopes are dwindling away leaving less terrain available for sliding.
The cold and clear nights are certainly helping surface conditions in more shaded areas during our extended drought period. Sheltered northerly aspects above 9000′ are holding faceted “recycled powder” snow which makes for quite pleasant skiing if you can avoid old tracks. And notably, wind stiffened, northerly aspects in the alpine are starting to facet out a bit. While still quite hard and slick I observed surface crusts are breaking down and becoming more edgeable.
Lower elevations are a bit more variable with a mixed bag of crusts and loose faceted snow.
Partly cloudy skies prevailed today with chilly temperatures. Highs reached into the mid 30°s at mid-elevations and moderate winds from the north northeast kept things feeling chilly.