Pointless - Star Cirque

Pointless - Star Cirque
Submission Info
Friday, May 26, 2017 - 12:00pm
Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity
Rapid warming
Obvious avalanche path
Rock Creek - Mosquito Flats 37° 27' 10.2276" N, 118° 45' 44.892" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Toured up to the cirque between Star and Pointless Wet Loose concerns Peak to assess how the snowpack thaw and Wet Loose concerns.

The snowpack was frozen at the trailhead despite the weak overnight freeze at 0700 (Rock Creek site reported 32 degrees for 1 hour at 0500) but began to quickly thaw under the intense late May sun. The snowpack has become quite sun-cupped near and below treeline with some runnels forming as well. Above treeline the snowpack is smoother and offers the best riding conditions. Noted Wet Loose releases on steep NE-E-S-W aspects of varying age (recent to within a couple days) and one moderate sized Cornice failure that did not initiate a slide on impacting the slope below but did produce a fair amount of debris (East aspect, ~11,300’).

By 1100 the eastern aspects of the headwall becoming quite punchy with 15 to 20 cm wet snow at the surface, elevation ~11300’. Ski cuts easily triggered Loose Wet sluffs on steep terrain 40 degrees and steeper. They did not propagate much or run far but a concern if entrained and carried into hazardous terrain. The warm weather has brought the creek levels up and is eroding the snowbridges from below. Lakes above 9700’ beginning to open up with inlets and outlets free of ice.

While driving to Mammoth noted two good sized wet releases on Mt Morgan’s east face, Looked to below 10000’, failing as a point release but entraining a fair amount of snow. I also noted that Mini-Morrison had at least two releases to ground on the East face. Debris entrained a fair amount of earth and rocks. Looked like it initiated at ~ 10,000’,  east aspect. May have been a Glide Slide or at least a very deep Loose Wet release that eroded deep into the snowpack.   

Snowpack photos: 
Cornice Failure, East aspect, ~12000'
Wet Loose, second release in 48 hours.
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

Calm winds below treeline, steady light westerly winds above treeline. A welcome relief from the heat. 

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