A small warm storm is impacting the area. Temperatures over the past 24 hours (2021-11-25 15:00 to 2021-11-25 15:00) on Stuart Mountain Snowtel (7,400 feet) have averaged 33.3° F. Throughout our tour of Sheep Mountain, we experienced light graupel and temperatures that fluctuated near freezing, 33° F to 28° F. Near the summit, where temperatures were cooler, periods of light to moderate snowfall (S1 to S2) would blow in and out. Ridgetop winds were moderate, blowing from a westerly direction.
Today we optimistically went up to check the snow on Sheep Mountain on the southeastern edge of the Rattle Snake. It's possible to find suitable snow to slide on in this area, but it's hardly worth the effort getting there.
* Snow is thin (less than 6 inches) below about 6,200 feet.
* Many early season hazards exist, including downed trees, barely covered rocks, and bushes.
* Snow depths gradually increased above 6,200. We found 21 inches of snow on a northeastern aspect at 7,300 feet, where we dug a quick pit. We saw 12 inches of rounding windblown snow over various crust sandwiches, some with softer, sugary snow filling.
* Near the summit of Sheep Mountain, exposed slopes were wind affected with patches of hard windboard, sastrugi, and isolated small wind slabs. Directly exposed slopes are scoured.
* Snow surfaces below 7,000 feet have become thick and heavy due to warm temperatures over the past 48 hours.