Strong winds and variable surface conditions in the lee vining area

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Dana Plateau
Submission Info
Forecaster
Friday, February 26, 2021 - 12:15pm
Red Flags: 
37° 54' 47.4876" N, 119° 12' 33.4836" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

The winds certainly outperformed the forecast today and I observed substantial wind transport as I made my way up to the Dana Plateau today. Surface conditions in V bowl, 7500’-9500’, were largely breakable MF crust with soft faceted surface snow on shaded northerly terrain.

I ascended Coke chute in the hopes of heading to the Kidney chute but was turned around after topping out due to the extreme winds. I also ran into a party who reported that Kidney hadn’t softened up. Surface conditions in coke chute could be described best as "variable". I was able to sniff out some soft turns, but things transitioned quickly from hard and slick, to breakable crust, to soft wind textured snow and back again.  Needless to say, the lack of predictability kept things interesting. I chose to stick to the shaded trees in hopes that the surface faceting would provide better conditions than the breakable crust in the open bowl and for the most part that was the case. I did observe some thin (1.5-3 cm) panels of fresh wind slab on an exposed ridge near treeline but nothing too concerning. All together I observed more stripping and sublimation than deposition today.

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
Clear
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Gale Force
Precipitation: 
Air temperature trend: 
Cooling
Wind Direction: 
Northwest
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

Sunny skies, warm temperatures, and strong to extreme winds at all elevations. Winds seemed to increase substantially in the afternoon and the wind chill made things feel pretty chilly. Flagging was also pretty widespread, both off the plateau as well as off the peaks along 395 south of Lee Vining.

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