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Re: Lost River conditions

June 15 2010 at 3:41 PM
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Kevin Coble  (no login)

Response to Re: Lost River conditions

It is not that it has not melted off as much - snow level is not abnormal for the time of year. It is more that it has come late, with a wet layer (compounded by it raining on the snow lately) over a non-consolidated (sugar snow) base. The firmness of the crust doesn't allow the warm air in to melt the lower layers. The slab softens, and is a heavy layer on a pile of small ball-bearings. It is thinning at the sides, and you can almost skip between the exposed scree piles in places. We did not see any slides, just evidence of previous ones (obscuring any evidence of any ski or boot tracks - so probably recent)

The crust was thick enough last Sunday to hold together perfectly fine until it had time to soften. That is why I recommend being down (at least off the snow) before noon...

Our schedule started hiking about 5 a.m. We hit the snow about 6:30. Up top at 10. Off of the snow at 11. Beers at the car at 12:30

Caveat: I am not an avalanche forcaster, nor can I claim major experience or training with snow condition determination.

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