Toured up to the top of Red Cone mid-day to look at the pre-storm conditions on the Mammoth Crest. Time of observations: between 1150am and 3pm. Elevations observed: 8500' to 10,400'. Aspects observed: All, primarily E-N-W. Refer to map for data points.
General upper snowpack structure was typical melt-freeze spring snow: top 2" wet polycrystals on top of a 2" thick, generally supportable, melt-freeze crust with wet rounded grains and uniform hardness (~1F) as far down as my pole could probe. E aspects below 10,000' were going out of style by noon; in a few locations the crust was less supportable and hard stomping could break through it or cause loclaized cracking. See boot pen photo for the deepest penetration I had (1' deep) on an E aspect at 9900' at 120pm. Treed slopes and near rock and vegetation had deeper ski pen. Kick tests had very small and stubborn results on steep E, N, S facing slopes between 9400' and 10,400' (see small sluff photo). All observed surfaces at all aspects and elevations were soft wet snow, S-W-N aspects being more supportable with less penetration depth. Glide cracks were observed in the top of Red Cone bowl from the last rain even 4/6-7. Several recent D2s triggered by cornice fall looker's R of Jaws from the same storm (previously reported). The cornice above Jaws looks ripe to fall off at some point. Skiing the middle of Red Cone Bowl down to Horseshoe at 2pm was excellent corn (NW-N-NE aspects) between 10,400' and 9500' which is where it turned to mush in the trees above the Horseshoe Piles.
Strong WSW winds at the trailhead funneling through Mammoth Pass. Winds near the Crest were more S to variable. Winds were Moderate to Strong. No blowing snow. Sky was Overcast- with breaks to Broken and periods of low cloud cover blowing in over the Crest (cloud level 10,000', see photo). High RH. No precip during my travels. Tair at the top of Red Cone= 2deg C at 150pm.