Red Cone

Submission Info
Friday, January 19, 2018 - 11:00am
Red Flags: 
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
37° 35' 43.3104" N, 119° 1' 34.3992" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Toured up to the top of Red Cone this morning to take a look at the new storm snow and wind slab formation. Winds were moderate from the SW from the trailhead at the end of Old Mammoth Rd. until I got up to Lake George at about 0930am. Then things were surprisingly calm until I reached the very top above treeline where S winds were light with gusts to moderate. Evidence of wind sculpting the snow was evident on most snow surfaces (pillows, cornices and wind lips, etc.) but the top 1 to 5" of new snow was unconsolidated. Jumped on many test slopes between 9000' and 10,400' on W-N-E aspects with no results. Hand shears however were failing easily about 20cm down under the melt-freeze crust that was the snow surface until last night. Hand shears also failed with moderate force 35cm down on the facet layer. The facets were moist and easy to make a snowball with. Lots of localized cracking around my skis all day, and hollow sounding snow. Cracking was not in settling storm snow, but where my weight broke through the buried melt-freeze crust. Did a few shovel tilt tests to check for soft storm slabs in the top layers of the snowpack but the new snow proved generally unconsolidated.

Performed several sets of quick snowpack tests near the top of Red Cone at 10,300' on NE and NW aspects with varying results: CTE PC x2 down 5cm under new F hard storm snow on top of 4F hard faceting rounds above the melt-freeze layer; CTH RP down 36cm at the interface of 4F wind deposited snow on top of 1F melt-freeze snow; CTM RP down 24cm on faceted 4F snow under 1F melt-freeze; CTH SP x2 down 24 in the same layer as the previous test; CTH SP down 53cm on 4F hard facets under a thick P+ hard melt-freeze layer. ECT to test the layers with SP results did not propagate: ECTN 18 down 24cm.

Showery weather all day with snowfall rates of very light to light (S1 to S2, off and on) and occasionally graupel.

General impression: this storm, like the last, was not quite as advertised. Wind slabs that formed overnight were stubborn to trigger today. Winds in general were lighter and storm snow was less consolidated than expected.

Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: 
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