Virginia Lakes Rdd is closed ~ 1/4 mile from 395. Lundy Canyon open to first gate above homes off 395. Parking is limited.
Observer: doug lewis, Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center
Jan 17, 2017, 9:01 PM
BackcountryLat/Lon: 38.028204°, -119.176746°
Sierras, CAElevation: 7300 f
Aspect: N Angle: 25°Sky Cover: -BKN VF 6400-7500Precipitation: No PrecipitationWind Speed: Light, subjectiveWind Direction: WBlowing Snow: NoneSnow Depth: 95cmBoot Penetration: 20cm Comments: Surface Hoar 3-6mm in exposed area, 10-15mm in sheltered areas.1-3cm thick with rime from 7100 to ~ 8000'. Facets below Surface Hoar, loose, 10 -20 cm @ the bottom 15-30cm @ 9000'. Compression Tests- CTH 21, 28, 29, Q3 @ 10cm above ground. Surface Hoar & Facets at the surface possible weak layer with a well formed bed surface of either melt/freeze crust or dense wind slab for approaching storm . 3 Stability Tests: CT28 Q3 85cm CT29 Q3 85cm CT21 Q3 85cm Failed in facets above ground.
Snowpack consistent 2 to 3 feet (meter +/-) at the Trailhead. Coverage is good. Snow surface impressive display of Surface Hoar, rimed at the lower elevations (~7,000' - ~8,700'). Well-established inversion with basin fog since the last storm system exited the region has been coating the lower elevation Surface Hoar with a thin rime coating. Looks like 70's ceiling popcorn. Surface Hoar was consistent 2 to 3cm thick from 7,000' to 9,300'. Size varied from 3-6mm in more exposed areas, ribs, ridges, crests while sheltered areas had 10 to 15mm in more sheltered locations. Below the Surface Hoar, 2-3 mm loose facets with sloughing on test slopes (~7,500', N-NE aspects). The surface snow skis well but may become a weak layer if buried. Next storm system worth watching closely and checking the advisory. No recent avalanche activity noted on southerly aspects of lower Lundy Canyon. NW-N-E aspects loose facets, anything beyond East noticeable light Melt/Freeze Crust under 4-8mm Surface Hoar.
Virginia Lakes Rd is closed ~ 1/4 mile from 395. Lundy Canyon open to first gate above homes off 395 (~2 miles). Parking is limited.
Cirrus building ahead of approaching system. Light westerly winds, strong inversion in the Mono Lake Basin with 500 to 1000' thick cloud cover that has hovered in the basin since the departure of the last snow cycle.