Negatives -Wind loading

Submission Info
Monday, February 12, 2018 - 1:30pm
Red Flags: 
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
37° 43' 35.5224" N, 119° 5' 55.9608" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Toured off of June, up the hour-glass couloir to the top of the negatives, was suprised at the intensity of the ridgetop winds, tried to look down a couple N and NE facing couloirs, could barely see, and skied back down the hourglass.  

-10,100', Hourglass couloir, 12:45pm: light to moderate NE winds blowing up couloir

-11.200', ridgetop of negatives, 1:30pm: Consistent moderate to strong NE winds blowing up the face and depositing knee high drifts on the ridgetop just above the chuttes.  If the winds were out of the SW, I don't doubt that these NE facing lines would have noteable sensitive windslabs deposited in their upper reaches.  I would suspect that southerly to westerly facing steep slopes above treeline would be continuously wind-loaded today, and could likely have wind slabs sensitive to human triggering, that could possibly even release naturally.  The SE facing "solar bowl" chutes I would think could be cross-loaded and suspect as well.   

-9600' at 12:30pm (saddle between negatives and June Mtn: 16cm (6") new light snow, -7.5deg C air temp (18.5deg F), calm to light wind.  Total snow depth = 125cm.  

-Upslope winds on N to E facing slopes at tree line and above were noteably intensified in gullies and couloirs.  Some small shooting cracks in isolated areas where winds were transporting snow.  

-Overall skiing was dust-on-crust like this afternoon, as the several+ inches of new snow was quite light.  

-Suprisingly little snow in the town of June (barely a dusting by late afternoon), and along 395.  Orographic lifting seemed to play a major part today in the lower elevations recieving very little snow, and several inches plus deeper and higher in the mountains.  

Quite a cold day!  Coldest in quite a long while.  Snowing most of the day, from very light to moments of moderate intenisty. 

Overall impression:  At upper elevations northeasterly winds were definitely strong enough to transport snow at a prime level, and where more than a few inches of new snow fell, slopes with the right aspect, exposure, and steepness could likely have windslabs sensitive to natural and human triggering in this area.  

-- placeholder --

ESAC receives significant financial support from ...