Today some buddies and I headed up to the Muir Snowfield to check out how the new snow associated with this storm cycle is shaping up. We departed Paradise at 10am.
As forecasted, we hit snow around 6500 feet. Above Pan Point there was a solid 3-4 inches of snow on the ground, with significantly more in sheltered areas; we encountered knee deep drifts in spots. Above 7000 feet the summer trail was difficult to follow due to accumulation.
We transitioned to skis at 7450 feet where we ascended to 8000 feet on a permanent snowfield covered with fresh snow from this current storm. We did not ascend above 8000 feet as the skiable snow looked discontinuous above this elevation.
Several handpits conducted between 7500 and 8000 feet indicated that the new snowfall has accumulated 6 to 14 inches deep and appeared well bonded to the underlying permanent snowpack. The new snow was soft, wet, and chalky, although skiing conditions were pleasant by any standards and certainly excellent for mid-September. We encountered two other parties of skiers.
Weather throughout the day was stormy, with strong gusty winds and poor visibility. We noted moderate wind transfer and very few areas with mild (fist-hard) wind crust. Visibility was mostly <100 feet with flat light, except for occasional and short-lived moments of partial clearing. I would estimate temperatures to be near freezing. It snowed lightly and intermittently with negligible new accumulation.