March 2, 2022
March 2, 2022
Chris Engelhardt | ESAC Forecaster
Zone or Region:
Basin Mountain-East Gully-supportable and smooth-mature rounded polycrystals "corn"
Stability Rating: Very Good
Confidence in Rating:
Stability Trend: Steady
- Headed into the Buttermilk country today and up the East gully on Basin Mountain which also has a bit of Southeasterly tilt within the skiers left side.
- 30degF in Bishop this morning at 630am and high bank of cloud rolled in on the East side of the valley early morning, but ended up not obstructing the rising sun and the day turned out to be 98% bright and sunny down here in the Owens valley.
- Calm conditions with warm temperatures dominated the day.
- 46degF @ 1030am @ 9500ft
- 44degF @ 1200pm @ 11500ft
- 37degF @ 100pm @ 12200ft
- Overall coverage in the lower reaches of the mountains here is getting pretty slim, but at the same time the Buttermilk road is burning out and providing better access.
- The northerly aspect of the East Gully is still wintry snow and had a trace of new snow from last week still residing on the surface.
- The due East and southeasterly skiers left side exhibited well-developed 3-5mm rounded surface grains. This feature held really robust firm windboard throughout its length and it was very smooth and consistently surfaced for the most part. At 11700ft where the top of the gully kinks and becomes a more northeasterly aspect, snow surfaces became more sastrugied and the snow was in a transitional state. Even so today temps, sun and lack of wind provided for softened surfaces and decent skiing even from 12000ft.
- The snow in the gully proper was so hard I could barely penetrate it with my probe. Depths in the meat of the gully measured 220cm @ 11000ft with depths ranging from 70-110cm on the margins.
- Finding terrain that holds smooth firm old windboard that has been undergoing melt/freeze cycle on the surface is the way to go. Today the pool table smooth surfaces were softened up 2-4cm on the surface.
- I did not find any instabilities today.
- Old shallow faceted snow on northerly aspects in lower elevations was becoming unsupportable and isothermal with the heat.
- Well developed penitentes and 3-dimensional snow surfaces are in the majority at lower elevations.