Went for a tour in the convict drainage today to the top of Mono Jim peak via Old Man’s Bowl.
Surfaces are heavily wind effected, with wind boards of varying thickness and supportability throughout the entirety of my tour. I found the most pleasant travel in areas with textured surfaces and only a thin wind skin or in areas with fully supportable wind board. Unfortunately, breakable windboard ranging from 2-6” thick made up most of the travel from Tabaco flats to my highpoint at 10800’
Significant wind transport was observed above treeline during my tour today. The winds seemed to be blowing up slope in the Morison col, and subsequent deposition was occurring on the north face of Mono Jim. The pattern of deposition in this area was one of cross loading. I didn’t observe notable flagging from nearby peaks suggesting that concerning deposition is likely isolated to areas that still contain decent amounts of loose surface snow.
I dug in on a north aspect at around 10,600’ and found a very poor structure. Stability tests suggest the continued potential for avalanches breaking on deeper weak layers in this location. However, I also noted through periodic probing that the presence of late November facets is much more sporadic. I avoided committing to the steep northerly terrain off the summit of Mono Jim peak, but I suspect that is the most likely place in this area to hold well developed basal facets.
Warm temperatures today really didn’t seem to impact the snowpack heavily. I noticed some minor rollerball activity at around 8000’ and I did observe signs of significant warming at the lake level. But shaded aspects on the lower moraines were still holding loose faceted snow as I descended this afternoon.
My largest concern today was with navigating the surface conditions. Watch those knees.
Moderate , W
cloud cover increased as the day progressed. While ambient temperatures were relatively warm today the winds were also stronger than expected, which kept things feeling brisk at times.