February 4, 2022
February 4, 2022
Chris Engelhardt | ESAC Forecaster
Zone or Region:
Walker Lake Area-Thin cover at lower elev, 1m depths N-terrain ~9500'
Stability Rating: Very Good
Confidence in Rating:
Stability Trend: Steady
- With continued cooler temps and hard overnight freeze, I again took to sheltered terrain to be easy on the body and visit parts of the forecast zone I’ve yet to visit this season.
- Although touring has become primarily about the journey and adventure than the skiing, the Eastside still amazes me with its beauty and shear breadth of incredible terrain. Over the course of many winters here and 4 forecasting seasons I can still go to a new place virtually every day which has its healing benefits…especially with so much drought and lack of snow the past 3 winters. I headed to the timbered flank of Mt Lewis, travelling on dwindling coverage on the flats to the low angle slopes of trees. Overall coverage, no surprise is similar with average depths around 1 meter above 8500ft and a mix of surfaces depending if the sun or tree canopy shed melting snow (along time ago) on the surface. The solid and supportable maritime snowpack is a god send during droughts as this. At least you’re not punching through hollow faceted snow hitting stumps, rock and logs like I have on drought ridden “continental-type” snowpack.
- It felt cool eating lunch at 1230 and indeed it was a bit, with a temperature of 26degF @ 9600 ft. Dead calm conditions today where I travelled, but I did not get very high in elevation. 9600ft was the high point.
- Again, widespread large surface hoar development (1-3cm) along drainages with significant, but smaller crystal sizes (~3mm-5mm) covering many sheltered slopes 8500ft and below.
- Ski penetration averaged around 5cm on shady, non-sun affected surfaces above 9000ft, with boot penetration averaging from 20cm.
- Except in gully features and catchment zones a lot of the alpine east aspects in the Mono/June zone are pretty thin or becoming totally bare. We really, really, need winter to pick up again or otherwise our primetime season of March and April is going to be tough. I feel for all the snow lovers out there with another season like this, I just try to put my head down, get up early, get out on the trail, and inevitably the exercise, views, wildlife and a few good turns make me grateful for getting to live in such a place. I can say that this week I still have found good turns despite it not snowing for over 5 weeks.