I toured up to the Sherwin ridge this afternoon from Mill city to get a survey on new snow totals and to look for recent wind slab development.
Snow accumulations averaged 2-3” in most areas with around ~4”~ in mid-slope catchment zones above 9000’
Evidence of wind transport and fresh wind deposits were observed throughout my afternoon. Along my ascent, I observed thin wind skins, around 1-2 cm thick, in exposed cross-loaded areas. Along the ridge, I was able to initiate several size 1 wind slabs. Ranging in size from dinner tables to the largest which was about 60’ wide, all of these pockets were oriented immediately adjacent to the ridge, they were very sensitive, 4f/F in hardness, and relatively thin. The deepest crown I observed was about 6”. While not incredibly concerning at this location today I would expect the size and distribution of Wind slabs to increase if we continue to see snow showers tonight.
Some transport was observed while I was on the ridge but for the most part, the soouthwest winds were surprisingly light.
I found decent “dust on crust” turns for the majority of my descent today.
Snow showers dwindled substantially mid-day and the sun even came out periodically between noon and two o’clock this afternoon. Even brief windows of the sun coupled with relatively warm temperatures impacted the snow quickly leading to a more moist “shmoo on crust” like sliding experience at lower elevations.
I was able to initiate a couple of loose Wet sloughs at lower elevations today. there wasn’t much volume to either of these size D1 slides but it was a good indication of the warmth today and the potential for future stability concerns.
It’s also worth noting that coverage took a huge hit over the last week of record warm temperatures. several areas of dry road are visible beyond the closure at mill city and several new obstacles are exposed throughout the area.
It was pretty warm today despite the return to more winterlike weather and I found I was comfortable in a thin wind shirt. I measured 4°c @ 1 pm on the ridge. Winds between light and moderate speeds out of the SW with the occasional strong gust. Strong snow showers this morning diminished mid-day and remained scattered to non-existent for the afternoon. I observed an increase in snow showers around 5 pm in Mammoth.Close