We toured from the top of J7 today with the goal of sampling several aspects and elevations.
The descent to Yost meadow was quite pleasant with about 4” of settled powder on top of a supportable base. Thin MF crusts were present in some areas with more sun exposure keeping us on our toes.
From Yost meadow, we ascended and descended the solar bowl on the negatives. New snow accumulations are spare on this more solar aspect. Ribbons of moist new snow were observed between areas of the old textured snow surface. It is worth noting that our recent snow has helped to “smooth” out the surface a bit from the fin-like penitents that dominated this slope a few weeks ago.
No signs of excessive warming were observed. I was able to kick off a small fan of rollerballs on one fresh pillow of snow, but these roller balls mostly deteriorated to dust. Try as I might I could not get any small sluffs to initiate.
I did find a very small area of recent wind deposit immediately adjacent to the ridge of the negatives that were sensitive to my weight. In this area I found about 10-15 cm of 4F+wind stiffened snow bonded well to 2 cm of pencil hard wind board overriding f+ near surface facets. hand sheers broke under moderate force and only isolated cracking was observed.
Coverage in this area has also diminished since my last visit, Narrowing the possibilities for a solar descent and bringing some areas of bare ground to the surface.
We found a wide variety of surfaces on our decent back to Yost meadow. Cold wind-packed pow on more easterly tilted slopes, some hard and slick crusts on a striped panel in the shade, thin isothermal areas near the ridge, and some suns softened and textured old surfaces on more southerly tilted aspects.
We decided to take a lap in the hemlock trees before descending to the four seasons. This more shaded and sheltered area provided a more predictable and consistent sliding experience. the majority of areas sampled contain about 4” of settled powder over supportable near surface facets. Isolated areas of underlying wind board, reefs of barely covered rocks, and overall shallow coverage kept us moving cautiously and deliberately.
The snowpack below 9000’ along our descent to four seasons was far less enjoyable. Most of the pack here is faceted and unsupportable. While soft for the most part, coverage is quite thin, tree debris is everywhere and the unsupportable coverage is a bit disconcerting.
Mostly clear skies prevailed today with some thin cloud cover developing in the afternoon. Winds remained mostly light out of the NE with the occasional moderate gust when we were on the ridge. Temperatures were mild today with highs in the mid 30°s at higher elevartions.Close