Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Snowpack Only Gets Better and Better

The past few weeks of winter storm snow have added several more feet to the mountain snowpack making the outlook for the 2007 climbing season better and better. The last two weeks of snow have practically doubled the size of our snowpack according to the full-depth snow profiles that we dug today and yesterday on the upper and lower Muir Snowfield respectively.

The snowpack at 8,900 feet on the Snowfield consists mainly of several feet of new snow bonded to the sturdy early February melt-freeze crust. Below the crust are several layers of older, somewhat facetted grains which are well on their way to rounding. At the base of the snowpack is a layer of more highly-developed facets which has also begun the process of rounding. Other melt-freeze and rain crusts are also present below the main mid-pack crust. Were it not for these crusts bridging the snowpack, we might be seeing a bit more avalanche activity.

Steady work continues on the road to Paradise with huge loads of rock being transported into the park every day. We are still shooting for May 1st as the optimistic forecast for the road opening. More on Access