San Joaquin Canyon-Consolidating West Aspects & warming surfaces
Signs of Unstable Snow
Confidence in Rating:
I dropped into San Joaquin Canyon today to check out westerly aspects and to see how snow coverage was holding up down in the river canyon itself.
I delayed skiing down until 1pm or so give the west aspect as much time to warm up as possible…today it would have been even better later in the day with more direct late afternoon soon. Nonetheless there was 2-3cm of surface warming on quite smooth surfaces both in the trees and in larger open panels of snow.
Snow depths averaged from 90cm to 50cm and for the most part was quite consolidated with rounded grains.
Surface grains were composed of larger 3-4mm rounded grains, a bit on the “baby corn” side.
Ski penetration was fairly consistent from 10000ft down to 7600ft with 1-3cm where aspects were direct west or slightly southwest.
I believe the cold cloudy day yesterday along with the subsequent clear night led to a good solid overnight freeze and therefore the snowpack was quite firm for most of the day and offered great spring like skiing on east aspects in the morning and where you could find south aspects… quite good for the majority of the day.
No instabilities noted, even shallow areas of snow remained supportable through early afternoon today E-S-W.
I believe listing Wet-Loose avalanches as a problem on the Bulletin today was a bit overkill with the landscape kept frozen up from yesterday’s cloud cover and good freeze overnight.
Warm skinning with little to no breeze and temperatures in the 40’sF.
Light , W
42degF @ 10000ft @ 1230pm
50degF @ 7600ft @ 130pm
Beautiful blue day with a few scattered clouds, light westerly winds and warm spring temperatures.