Conditions in the Twin Lakes Area

Submission Info
Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 1:00pm
Horsecreek/Matterhorn 38° 6' 44.3088" N, 119° 22' 23.8044" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

I toured up the Horsecreek drainage to the base of the Matterhorn today.  Not much snow left near the parking area and Mono Village, but still enough to pass through (mostly on skis).  Heading up, the snow was a mixture of a melt-freeze crusts lower down and a thick but not supportable wind board higher up.  It is evident that the winds from the most recent storm (Tuesday/Wednesday, Mar 21/22) wreaked havoc on the snowpack in this area.  Clear conditions overnight also led to the formation of some surface hoar in meadows, though these grains were not present above treeline.  Higher up, there were signs of recent loose-wet avalanches on east facing slopes, some traveling close to 1000 vertical feet. 

I dug a snowpit on a 37* steep, NW facing slope, at 8882' on a small convex rollover just as the skin track begins to ascend up the ridge from the valley, adjacent to the narrow chute known as 'Skier's Dream'.  There was about two feet of new snow/wind loaded snow from the most recent storm sitting on top of a bulletproof hard melt-freeze crust which formed during the previous week's warm weather.  This crust was so hard that my probe couldn't punch through it, only using a snow saw could I get through to the softer snow below.  The new snow was a mix of wind effected snow and decomposing new snow with varying densities.  The surface contained some near-surface facets trying to form under the steep temperature gradient in the top 10 cm.  A softer layer of new snow was sandwhiched between two layers of wind loaded snow about a foot down, which proved most reactive in my stability tests.  Fractures failed on medium hits in my CTs and ECTs but did not propagate.

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
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Above Freezing
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More detailed information about the weather: 

Perfect weather today with temps in the mid-upper 30's, sunny skies, and light winds

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