We left the trailhead this morning under ominous and cloudy skies, relatively warm temperatures and with light to moderate winds out of the west. Sporadic flurries made a brief appearance on our ascent before the clouds started to break around mid-day. Mostly clear skies prevailed for the afternoon
Our biggest observation about the snowpack today was the variety of challenging surface conditions. We encountered everything from soft recycled powder on protected polar aspects, wind textured snow in more exposed areas NTL and ATL, and a wide variety of grabby melt freeze crusts on more solar aspects. In classic Sierra fashion, the variable surface conditions kept us on our toes.
We dug in on a N aspect at around 10,200’ and found a largely right-side up and faceted snowpack. Stability tests in this location did not highlight a layer of concern today. Our thoughts around the snowpack focus more on the potential for problems developing in the future when we see a big load added to this weak base.