I took advantage of the newly opened road to Virginia lakes and went for a tour on Dunderberg peak today.
Overall the coverage in Virginia lakes is similarly thin to other parts of the range. Wide areas of bare ground are present in the flats below south peaks, Dunderberg, and the south-facing aspects are quite thin/ completely dry.
I decided to head to the south gully today to get an idea of the extent to which the new snow from last Monday’s storm has cooked down and begun to transition to more melt-freeze grains. The main constriction near the top of the gully has some dry areas and I opted instead to make my way climbers left and hit the shoulder.
Getting into the gully was easy despite the short walk on dry talus. And I found booting up to the shoulder pretty straightforward. boot pen was only about 2-3 cm and the underlying melt-freeze crust is quite think and supportable. While I wouldn’t call the “new” snow corn yet it’s pretty close on this solar aspect. I did observe a few areas of more transitional snow that was still susceptible to rollerballs and pinwheels in some deeper deposits near rock outcroppings, mid-slope depressions, and above 11,500′.
I dropped in around 11 am and found this timing pretty ideal. I initiated quite a bit of rollerball activity in the first 600 ft or so of my descent through the more transitional surface snow. but the lower gully was pretty pleasant corn skiing.
Thin cloud cover and relatively mild temperatures kept Loose wet concerns largely at bay today and no signs of instability were observed on my tour.
Overcast skies this morning began to clear a bit mid-morning as cloud cover became thinner and the sun made periodic appearances. Temperatures were mild with highs near freezing at upper elevations and in the low 40°s near treeline. winds were mostly light out of the north today with ridgetop gusts in the moderate range.Close