Daves Wave and the Mammoth Crest- Warm Temps, transitioning snow bellow treeline
Signs of Unstable Snow
Confidence in Rating:
Skied off the back of Mammoth Mountain down Daves wave to horshoe lake. Toured up the redcone skin track, then continued along the Mammoth crest until I found a nice looking NE facing chute to descend and continued down a drainage to TJ lake, then slogged my way back down to tamarack lodge.
Sustained 50mph NNE winds at the top of Mammoth Mountain at 11am when I dropped down Daves wave
Minimal blowing snow observed as there just isn’t much left to blow after the last 2 days of north wind
Top 1-2cm of moist snow on top of 5-7cm of recently windblown snow with a firm supportable melt freeze crust bellow
Snow skied quite nicely and became sticky and variable bellow 9800ft
Snow looked like it was sweating in the forest on the approach up redcone with visible water on surface of the snow.
Snowpack in the forest contained 3-5cm of moist surface snow with about 10cm of new snow on top of a supportable melt freeze crust. Seemed to still be in a transition stage and had not all turned into melt freeze crystals.
Top 600 feet of the crest ridge was stripped and the north facing terrain still skied as wintry snow down approx. 10000ft
Bellow 9500feet at 2pm I was able to produce rollerballs on steep NE facing terrain and saw several small natural roller balls along the rocks and cliffs and a few small natural wet loose slides under crystals crag.
Lakes are starting so show a blue color in the lakes basin with a few very small patches of open water and standing water on the surface
Best to take a conservative approach if you have any doubts about the lake and stay away from areas with moving water.
At 2:30pm on these warm days you pretty much have to skate down the tamarack road
Challenging skiing conditions bellow treeline with highly variably transitioning snow that was very grabby at times
Moderate , NE
Sunny all day with temperature warming throughout the day
Strong NE winds decreasing to moderate NE over the day
Cliffs bellow crystal crag
very small natural wet loose slide, several roller balls seen in the cliffs