Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report – December 11th, 2016

In Conditions Reports, Eastern Sierra Backcountry Snow Report, From the Range of Light & Fast by Howie Schwartz2 Comments


This installment of the Report will be by video…

Here are some other images for your added information and enjoyment…


  1. Author

    Hi Ron. It has been raining all day below around 8500′, so that is changing some things. I was discussing a rain crust on the surface below ~9500′, as opposed to at the base of the snowpack. Crusts are common in the snowpack and can be formed by temperatures/sun, rain, rime, and wind. I wish it were possible to forecast what effect the formation and subsequent burial of a crust will have on the season’s snowpack. Crusts can be associated with persistent weak layers, which can cause avalanches for several days, weeks, or even months. The best way to know if there is a layer of concern deep in the snowpack is to read the local avalanche bulletin and make plenty of relevant field observations.

  2. Hello Howie, you mentioned a hard ice base below 9000′.
    That’s pretty critical for snow deposits that will be coming up, but how critical will that ice base affect the season for back country outings in the remainder of the season?

    FYI – my wife and I would like to plan for a couple of nights back-country, so we’re ascertaining the season conditions and schedule for a great weekend outing in the 2017 season.

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