March 24, 2022
March 24, 2022
Christopher Engelhardt | ESAC Forecaster
Zone or Region:
Mammoth side country-Warm temps and trench warfare on E aspects
- I poked around the sidecountry of Mammoth mountain this morning to get sense of how quickly things were warming up and how the snow was holding up after a very minimal freeze last night.
- Already during the morning hours, Easterly aspects did not have a surface crust or showed much of an overnight freeze at all. I could easily step well beyond boot top on boot penetration tests. Ski penetration was from 5-15cm already at 900am. In areas not previously slabbed up by wind, I could easily punch my pole through the snow upwards of 125cm.
- Even so by 1100am, I only could get minor roller balling on turns and ski cuts on due East aspects. Although the snowpack is becoming isothermal and unconsolidated, our moisture rich and dense snowpack has enough body to it to a support a skiers weight. I would not want to venture on to unsupported slopes above cliffs or especially east facing slopes that reside on top of granite slab with potential free water running underneath them.
- Although there really are not to many due south facing slopes left in the region that actually are holding snow, I did ski a nice south aspect that was prime time corn at 1100am. Through the last 3 months of sunshine and warm overall temps, the due south aspects are are for the most part very consolidated and baked down. If you can find a steeper, due south slope and hit it before noon its your best bet on finding the most supportable, smooth, and best riding right now. Just are not to many of them out there unfortunately.
- Northerly aspects at and below tree line were horribly sticky and un-pleasant to travel upon. My knees have had enough abuse this season so I avoided these after slope testing one slope around 9000ft. Roller balls and sticky conditions were the name of the game. Boot penetration was around boot top, not quite as significant as the warmer easterly aspects.
- Damn hot out there, and with this massive warm up I think any chance of a salvage to the the season is over at this point. Spring is here in full force and most snowfields are beginning to melt and shrink around the clock now.