I went for a tour today on the east side of Mt McGee to get an idea of how easterly aspects have been reacting to the increasing solar gain and record high heat this week.
Truth be told I don’t have a lot to report, on the whole, due east aspects above 8500’ or so are still holding drifts of cold surface snow, areas of hard and slick windboard and in some areas with a more southerly tilt, some punchy moist transitional snow.
I was able to kick a very small loose wet slough right off the ridgeline where about 2” of settled new snow rested on a hard layer of supportable windboard on an ESE aspect.
No other signs of instability were observed along my tour today.
Lots of evidence of recent rockfall in the gully including one baseball-sized rock that fell as I was climbing.
Coverage is pretty thin but adequate for sliding to and from the frontage road. HS averages ~50 cm~
Surface conditions were highly variable and fairly challenging at times. Above 9000’the surface was mostly hard and slick windboard with sporadic drifts of wind-packed snow from last week’s storm. For the most part, turns were predictable and relatively pleasant where surfaces were smooth. On the more solar side of the upper bowl, I even found some nice pseudo corn snow. Below 9000’ the snowpack was much less supportable, Highly textured, thin, and a bit punchy at times I would describe the lower flanks of McGee as survival skiing.
Temperatures were quite warm today with a high measured at 43° mid-day on top of McGee, and temps in the low 50s by the time I got to the car. Skies were clear this morning, but thin cloud cover moved in by mid-day. Winds were mostly light out of the SW with the occasional moderate breeze on top.Close