Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hemlock/June Lake Area

Dave and I utilized our June Mountain ski passes to ride to the top of the J7 chairlift and from there dropped into Yost Meadow here at the base of Dream Mountain.
Like last weekend with Steve, we found a nice skin track heading up into the Hemlock area which we followed all the way to the mini summit.

Here's Dave kicking back at the top, sipping hot coconut milk with tea (he shared!), and enjoying the ever spectacular views.
Like this one of Mt. Wood.
We decided to get a little adventurous and skied through this steep chute system below Hemlock Ridge. Sorry about the poor pic quality.

The snow was deep and light up in the chute, but we did cut loose some small soft slabs, so we picked our way cautiously until we were out on the apron.
We skied right down to the skin track and headed back up to Hemlock for a run down "Ghost Trees" and then down the fun lower slopes to Four Seasons.

Here's Dave tearing it up in the open trees.
Just another fine day skiing powder!

There were, as noted above, some stability concerns. We observed no cracking or collapsing, but we did set off a couple of small soft slabs in the chute on convex rollovers. They were certainly large enough to push you off your feet and into trees or over cliffs if you were not careful.

Larger natural avalanches had occurred in the Ghost Trees during the most recent storm with crowns up to 18". Like Habeggar's, new snowfall and/or wind deposited snow had partially obscured the crowns and debris. Starting zones were up high near the ridge on Northeast facing slopes. The snowpack in that area had stabilized some as evidenced by settlement cones and we had no results ski cutting convex rollovers.

The higher, open terrain was much more wind affected. Although no natural avalanches were observed in the Negatives, a moderately large avalanche started off the North shoulder of San Jouquin Mountain.

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