Today’s goal was to assess the Above treeline (ATL) snowpack on McGee Mountain. Here are the takeaways:
Overall, conditions in this area seem in line with the general advisory up on the ESAC website.
Below freezing temperatures.
Light NW wind gusting to moderate.
ATL and NTL on McGee Mountain:
HS: 10 – 50cm
The snow surface is Sastrugi in most areas. Where it is supportable this surface can provide efficient riding (it isn’t too rough).
Under the wind crust and in protected areas the snowpack is thin (~20cm) and weak (F hardness) – composed of small faceted grains.
I dug a hasty pit just below the summit (10800′ – ATL) on an E aspect. Slope angle was 30 degrees. HS~40cm. I found ~15 cm of knife hard wind crust on top of ~25cm of fist hard 1mm facets.
I did NOT find the rain crust that has been seen at the base of the snowpack in the Mammoth Lakes area.
The wind packed snow ATL is hard enough and slick enough that there is fall and slide hazard in certain areas.
Below treeline (BTL) sagebrush is the dominant snowpack factor. I only traveled on 4WD roads below 9500′ to avoid it. South facing slopes BTL are mostly snow free in this area.Close