SF Bishop Creek-loss of snow, transitional conditions

sf bishop creek
Submission Info
Thursday, March 4, 2021 - 1:00pm
37° 12' 41.0688" N, 118° 33' 22.9788" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

We continue to lose coverage as the snowpack dwindles under relatively warm temperatures and continuous sun. I could identify raised tracks from a couple weeks ago from my skin track on Table Mountain. Uncompressed snow around the raised skin track was getting close to being gone.

Took a look up by Aspendell, the lower moraine to access Bishop Bowl is pretty much devoid of snow now at this point and the lower apron to access Jawbone canyon is doable but more vegetation than snow. Northerly-Easterly snow surface conditions on Table Mountain looked horrendous.

I headed up the SF Bishop Creek to try to find a solar aspect that had warmed up. The thin snowpack conditions in the lower canyon haven’t been favorable for setting up a nice smooth melt-freeze layer. The SW aspect I ascended and skied wasn’t more than 25-30cm deep and was almost transparent with rock peppered throughout. The scaly surface was transitional and displayed the beginnings of minor snow cups or penitente features. It skied ok, but wasn’t anything to write home about. Best bet for skiing right now is steep, well tilted due south couloirs that have been cross loaded and are filled in. Although it’s warm, the sun angle is still not that high, and any kind of cooling breeze or not so warm temperatures doesn’t provide a great warm up on oblique angled solar slopes.

No avalanche issues at all in this area today, cooling SW light breeze and temperatures hovering just above freezing in the higher elevations where there is actually snow produced a mild surface softening where I was today.  I did observe some rockfall in northerly facing cliffs…that and thin conditions were the biggest hazards, not counting moral.


43degF @ 1030am @ 8400ft, calm

34degF @ 1000pm @ 10200ft. light sw wind

Snowpack photos: 
Snowpit videos (tests, etc): 
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