Mt. Tom SE Chute

The backcountry is more accessible than it has been in years. Please help!  ... Click Here to Find Out How

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Mt. Tom SE Chute
Submission Info
Member
Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - 1:00pm
37° 20' 17.0628" N, 118° 39' 15.2352" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Skied the SE Chute of Mt. Tom from the summit. Started from the main Buttermilks parking lot at ~7:40am. The road is still marked as closed, but was driveable with caution in a fairly low clearance vehicle (A4). It would be casual with a truck/SUV.

The upper face got direct light around 7:20. We hiked for about 800 vert to get to snow and began skinning on pretty firm conditions (solid refreeze even at lower elevations).

I'm guessing the wind kept things from warming up too fast, but other than a few sheltered pockets approaching the main chute, most of the low elevation snow was locked up. Wind was strongest (~moderate with a few stronger gusts, still not terribly strong) in the ~9500-11000 elevation band, and the snow was still firm at ~10am on E facing slopes on the way up. There are still some pockets of soft wintery snow in sheltered N/NE areas above ~10000. Above 12k, the wind was calm with light gusts, and by 11:30 most of the upper S and SE facing terrain was soft enough to ski well.

We summited around 12:30 with calm winds and dropped in around 12:50. The snow in the top 1000 feet was still a bit firmer than optimal at that point, but the 9k - 12k band was perfect spring snow. Below 9k it started to get a bit mushier, but it never was too sticky, and it was mostly still supportable (a few places in the low elevations it got a little punchy).

Weather Observations
Cloud Cover: 
Clear
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Light
Air temperature trend: 
Warming
Wind Direction: 
Southwest

ESAC receives support from ...