Warming in Rock Creek

Submission Info
Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 10:30am
Red Flags: 
37° 28' 36.3684" N, 118° 45' 16.1352" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Toured up Rock Creek Rd from the East Fork Trailhead, up the Hilton moraine, up the SE shoulder of Patricia Peak, down E face of Patricia and back to car.

0850 on top of the moraine at 9800', E aspect- Tair = 8deg C, Tsurf = -2.5deg C, T-20 = -0.5deg C, Foot pen = 1cm, surface snow still frozen, breakable melt-freeze crust with large facets underneath. Sky = clear, wind = calm.

0930 on the SE shoulder of Patricia at 10590', E aspect- Melt-freeze crust softening and moist on E aspects, Foot pen = 15cm. S aspects still frozen and firm.

Snow above 11000' on N and W aspects still cold and dry; patchwork or wind board and facets. On E and S aspects snow was once sastrugi, currently frozen but has obviously been going through the melt-freeze process with large, rounding grains and rough texture.

1040 on the summit of Patricia at 11860', E aspect- Tair = 3deg C, Tsurf = -4.5deg C, T-20 = -6deg C, Foot pen = 5cm, surface snow facets and wind board. Sky = clear, wind = light from the SW, gusts moderate. Looking W at the E aspects of Mt. Stanford and Mt. Huntington: these high, rocky faces had no sign of roller balls or previous point releases above 10800'.

1100 on the way down E aspect- snow still firm and frozen above 11600', good corn skiing between 11600' and 10000' with ski penetration of about 5-10cm. Kicked off two very small point releases that entrained some snow on a steep, ~40deg, convexity at about 11400'. About 1.5m wide, ran about 20m, about 10cm deep (see photo). Below 10000', ski penetration was boot top on every turn, kicking off roller balls, wet, sticky snow.

Snowpack photos: 
Kicked off 2 small point releases
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
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