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[pct-l] Re: El Nino/avalanche?

   Really informative rundown of your hike, Charlie! Thanks!
   Speaking of snow/El Nino, I just got back from a  snowshoe-backpack in
the Kearsarge area; I've never seen so much snow - deep powder, not the
usual "Sierra cement" (because of the recent heavy snowfall, I guess). If
storms like the last one continue (the forcasters say for another month
or so, but it looks pretty good now...), spring-in-the-Sierra will be
awesome! (runoff, etc) -- On the other hand, I keep hearing reports (Lone
Pine Visitor Center was one source) that snowfall has been unusually
_low_, so...)
   One thing that caught my attention: while the snowstorm temps were
quite cold, the following days' were sunny, and the top midday snow layer
was totally water, except in the deepest shade. At about 3pm, temps
dropped enough to freeze it to a skin of ice. Next day, more
melting/re-freezing. The next (big?) snowfall is gonna literally be
sitting (and sliding) on thin ice. I saw signs of numerous small slides,
and took a half-as--d core sample that showed another ice layer several
feet below the powder - this on fairly steep angles, gulp. (Yes, I know
it was stupid/irresponsible of me to traverse slopes in that condition,
and I vowed never to do it again...) The point of this is that, if
snowstorms continue much longer, avalanche, rather than snow-depth, might
be a more important consideration to early-season hikers on some of the
passes, like Glenn, etc.    bj

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