Sherwins - snowpit, winds, stable slabs

Sherwin - Near Mammoth Rock - Hose
Submission Info
Thursday, February 16, 2017 - 4:15pm
Red Flags: 
37° 36' 34.8948" N, 118° 59' 27.87" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

-Afternoon / evening tour up the Sherwins from end of Old Mammoth Rd.  

-2-3" new snow from last night/this morning, with obvious wind effects in most areas but most sheltered.  Winds were strong from SW, now much less strong.  Still moderate SW winds over ridgetops and across mid elevation ridge/ribs.  See attached videos for visible wind transport at 8,200' and at ridgetop 10,000'.

-Poop chute: Several inches of newly deposited snow on firm surface in starting zone.  Ski cut / stomping --> no cracks or failures.

-3:30pm, 9,200', North facing ridge/rib with previous wind deposited snow.  Handpit-handshear-no failure. 1ft of newly deposited snow (4f to fist at surface) ontop of thick melt-Freeze crust. (~10" thick)

-Only evidence of instabilities noted were fragile cornices at ridgetop, one of which failed naturally over hose leaving some debris in upper 100' or so of hose area.  Stomping on these cornices also resulted in small to medium sized cornice failures.  No significant propagation across slopes from cornice drops.  

-Snowpit dug at 9,800'.  See attached.  Obvious denser wind-deposits ontop of softer snow, but tests revealed that these layers, and the old melt-freeze layer that developed during the big warm storm a week ago, are all bonding well.  Some of the snow above the old melt-freeze crust did have the feel of slightly loose (but densely packed) facets, but under the hand-lens, these grains were very indescript.  Earlier this morning, some of the new wind-deposits were probably sensitive to human triggering, but they don't seem that way now in the areas travelled in the Sherwins.  Higher elevations, more exposed areas may be a different story.      

-Skiing conditions were alright, somewhat variable, with some nice areas and others with a more dense slightly breakable layer underneath.   

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpit videos (tests, etc): 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Air temperature: 
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

-Cloudy skies gave-way to mostly clear blue skies by evening.  Moderate winds over ridgetops and across lower elevation (8,200') rib/ridges (see attached videos).  

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