I went for a quick visit to the Sherwins out of Mill city this afternoon and found a thin and largely faceted snowpack.
significant settlement has occurred in this area since the early November snow storm. this settlement is evidenced by significant settlement cones on trees and a reduction in average hight of snow by over a foot.
Average Hight of snow encountered along my tour was about 40 cm with the max depth of snow probed around 70 cm. One upside to the shallower coverage is that many more obstacles are visible on the surface.
I dug a pit just below 10000′ on a NE aspect and found a right side up snowpack that has largely been faceted throughout. Stability tests did not highlight a layer of concern though i suspect when we see more snow this weak, faceted snowpack may become a concerning layer in and of itself.
Isolated areas of surface hoar were observed along my tour with grains as large as 4 mm
Despite the shallow coverage and thanks in large part to the extensive surface faceting occurring on this shaded aspect, surface conditions were soft and pleasant for my descent back to the car. although I took care to check my speed and think light thoughts
Scattered clouds prevailed for my tour today with with mild temperatures and calm winds. all in all it was a pleasant day in the backyard