Mammoth Area- Sherwins -warm and moist

Submission Info
Monday, February 15, 2021 - 11:30am
37° 36' 31.1292" N, 118° 58' 10.6032" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

It was warm and damp today with significant pin wheeling of moist manky snow in the Sherwins .  Temperatures were well above freezing this morning through the day and the new snow from the past few days got very moist within the top 10-15cm’s. I knew right away that listing potential small wet loose avalanches as a problem for the mid-lower elevations today would have been the right call. It overall was not a huge concern, but it probably was warm enough, and moist enough within loose new snow on the surface to produce small wet sloughs that could aid in twisting a knee, especially in steep rocky terrain like poop chute etc. This system was warm and the cloudy conditions added to a somewhat of a greenhouse effect as well in the Mammoth area.  I tried some aggressive ski cutting on 40deg plus slope angles and produced pin wheels and rollerballs, but could not get anything to really entrain much volume or dig down lower into the snowpack producing a larger slide.

Winds were significant with light snow falling late morning, but did not observe any wind slab formation; any new snow was being absorbed on the damp surface.  I observed significant flagging on Nevahbe Ridge in the McGee creek area on the way home around 2pm.  There was likely wind slab formation taking place up in the higher terrain on the leeward easterly terrain and a lot of snow being sublimated in the atmosphere. Visibility was limited up high today with the heavy cloud cover.

Digging a pit in the north facing trees on the Sherwins still showed the weak underlying basal facets and that is where column tests failed under moderate force. An extended column test did not propagate. One good thing was to see 155cm of snow which is one of the deeper pits I’ve dug this season.


It was 35degF at 1130am @ 9370ft. SW winds @ 25-35mph.


Snow pit @ 9,370ft, N Aspect, 41deg slope

HS: 155cm

CT13 Q1 @ 35cm

CT14 Q1 @ 40cm

ECTN21  @ 130cm

Snowpack photos: 
Snowpit videos (tests, etc): 
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