I ventured out in the Lee Vining area to test out some solars on Lee Vining peak After the very weak refreeze last night, it didn’t take long for things to soften up.
Gusty winds today may have slowed the surface softening minimally, but they were not a match for the solar gain and warm temperatures today. They were most welcome however as a break from the heat.
The snow below 8500’ was already quite punchy as I ascended around 8 am. Ski pen was around 15 cm and areas near shallowly covered bushes were reminiscent of the tiger traps from Swiss Family Robinson.
Above 9000’ in full sun I found boot pen to be about 20-25 cm, and I pulled the plug on my summit push at around 11 am, and a little under 11’000’, as the snow was feeling overripe. Dropping around 10 would have been preferable on this southeast aspect.
Above 9 k or so the slope stayed mostly supportable with quite pleasant corn skiing,
Below 9 k it was much less consolidated, and movement was challenging at times.
I was able to easily kick off several small loose wet avalanches near and below treeline on steep test slopes.
Temperatures were quite warm today however the winds kept things feeling pleasant for the most part. Some thin high-level clouds moved in mid-day and there was some cumulous build-up along the Sierra crest in the afternoon.Close