Snowpit on Castle Peak

Location Name: 
Castle Peak NW Face
Donner Summit Area
Date and time of observation: 
Sun, 01/21/2018 - 13:40
Location Map: 
United States
39° 22' 2.136" N, 120° 21' 16.272" W

Red Flags: 
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain

Observation made by: Public
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

The fresh snow was cohesive enough to act as a slab in this near-treeline, somewhat sheltered area, and it failed somewhat cleanly on the rain crust below it. However, propagation potential seemed limited here.

First pit photo shows the failure after 18 ECT taps. The second photo shows what happened after pulling on the remaining snow with a shovel to pry it loose. Looking at snow from the failure surface under a loupe, it looks like there's still some faceting left even as the grains appear to be rounding and sintering. Of course, there are plenty of crusty layers to be found in the snowpack.

No other signs of instability seen during my afternoon tour. Freshies just deep enough to avoid the crust (most of the time) above 8,000'.

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
75% of the sky covered by clouds
Wind Speed: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: