Touring upper Hilton Creek Drainage

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Upper Hilton Lakes Drainage
Submission Info
Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - 3:30pm
Upper Hilton Lakes 37° 28' 41.4804" N, 118° 46' 26.2776" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Toured upper Hilton Lakes.  Started in Rock Creek and walked a few miles.  Snow was consistent and skiable starting around 10,3000ft on the mesa between rock and hilton drainages. In the protected trees, powder depth varied from 15-45cm. On treed NW 20 degree slope hand pits did not fail although it was easy to locate a series weak buried crusts at ~20cm, ~25c, and ~30cm made of large facets. Based on pole probing, crusts were not consistent across slopes and aspects in these protected areas.

Above treeline ~11,000ft encountered 10cm of new snow on top of a stiff windboard. I could feel the flex of the windboard and felt the hollowness below the windboard through my skis as we toured up.   Windboard was consistent throughout the area we skied. We did not feel comfortable continuing onto more exposed or steeper terrain with this windboard. However the windboard was so strong, it seemed unlikely to break unless it had significant force or was weakened by warming.

Took snow profile at 11,000ft on N-NE slope: Total snow depth 51cm.   Boot penetration 5cm. From top to bottom: 51-46cm new snow; 46-38cm pencil windboard; 38-31cm fist decomposing particles; 31-28 1f; 28 to bottom was 4f and fist (although intermittently on the slope there was another 1f crust within this section) .  Hand pits failed on isolation below the windboard at 31cm down.  Isolation took significant force do to think firm windboard.

Weather was cool (freezing) calm with intermittent sun and some new snow.  A few small rollerballs observed on southish facing slopes at the end of the day.

 

Weather Observations
Cloud Cover: 
50% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Precipitation: 
Snow
Air temperature trend: 
Warming
Accumulation rate: 
None
More detailed information about the weather: 

Weather was cool (near freezing) calm with intermittent sun and some new snow.  A few small rollerballs observed on southish facing slopes at the end of the day.

 

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