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Conditions for snow survey crews

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Conditions for snow survey crews

Postby oldranger » Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:20 pm

Looks like the weather is likely to improve in a couple of days. Hope things will be stabilized for snow survey crews! Ditli are you still doing that? Will crews delay a bit if necessary for safer travel conditions?
Mike

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Re: Conditions for snow survey crews

Postby maverick » Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:54 pm

Looks like the weather is likely to improve in a couple of days. Hope things will be stabilized for snow survey crews! Ditli are you still doing that? Will crews delay a bit if necessary for safer travel conditions?


Have contacted John, requesting him to give us an update on the current conditions, including his opinion on what conditions can be expected for May, Jun, and July. This is something we request him to do each year Mike. :)
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Re: Conditions for snow survey crews

Postby ERIC » Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:57 pm

Stabilizing weather and fresh snow beginning to consolidate a bit making travel/mobility easier. I'm headed up tomorrow doing Bench Lake, State Lakes, Mitchell Meadow, Scenic Meadow, Rowell Meadow, and Horse Corral Meadow via helicopter. Will report back with some photos.
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Re: Conditions for snow survey crews

Postby zacjust32 » Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:13 pm

@ERIC Who does these snow surveys and how did you get the privilege of doing them?
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Re: Conditions for snow survey crews

Postby ERIC » Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:02 pm

Welcome to HST! Please register an account and login to view files/photos attached to this post.
The attachment is a little dated but still provides good background. I work for one of the cooperating agencies listed in Table 1. For the courses in our watershed who gets to go depends on a combination of politics, seniority, physical ability, interest, availability...and a bit of luck. Most commonly employees or board members of the cooperating agencies, but there have been some exceptions. I've been fortunate enough to have gone on nearly a dozen or surveys over the years. People like Dittli are in a class of their own.
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Re: Conditions for snow survey crews

Postby maverick » Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:09 pm

Wow, that is quite a list of cooperating agencies.
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Re: Conditions for snow survey crews

Postby ERIC » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:07 am

Welcome to HST! Please register an account and login to view files/photos attached to this post.
Weather conditions were nearly ideal for us. So much snow... In the Kings we're over 200% of normal for the year and with just average precip going forward it'll be a 150% Water Year. Just beginning to go through video and photos. Will try to post more in the next day or two.
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Re: Conditions for snow survey crews

Postby oldranger » Thu Jan 26, 2017 4:23 pm

Thanks Eric, I think it would be great if you labeled the pics so we could know the sites.
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Re: Conditions for snow survey crews

Postby ERIC » Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:49 pm

I'll do my best. The first two are now labeled.

By the way, just found out another survey crew that went up this morning, in the same helicopter with the same pilot, had to emergency land following mechanical issues. Don't know yet exactly where they crashed but it was a high remote location and the landing was in powder. Nobody was injured. Now they just have to dig in and wait until morning for rescue.
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Re: Conditions for snow survey crews

Postby maverick » Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:00 pm

By the way, just found out another survey crew that went up this morning, in the same helicopter with the same pilot, crash landed following mechanical issues. Don't know yet exactly where they crashed but it was a high remote location and the landing was in powder. Nobody was injured. Now they just have to dig in and wait until morning for rescue.


That must have been scary, glad to read that they are okay.
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Re: Conditions for snow survey crews

Postby oldranger » Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:03 pm

Missed by 1 flight on 2 different occasions being in a helicopter crash. Flying in them is a gas but I'll never do it again voluntarily! Also Eric I was wondering what you carried in case a bivouac was necessary?
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Re: Conditions for snow survey crews

Postby ERIC » Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:35 pm

Man, your luck sounds about as good as mine. I've had more than one other near miss myself; one in small aircraft (fixed wing several years ago) while attempting to cross the Sierra where IIRC I was told freakishly both fuel pumps failed, and also a pilot that I had almost 100hrs of airtime with passed in a tragic accident one year ago on the western slope of the Sierra in Tulare County (NTSB just ruled it pilot error).

For this trip, we each had a 55L pack base filled with survival gear but everyone was able to add in whatever more they felt was necessary. Base gear included (among other things):

- large first aid kit
- headlamp
- instant heat packs
- emergency blankets
- candles, matches and lighters
- tarps
- sleeping bag/pad
- snow shovel
- snow saw

I added compass and regional topo maps, lots of extra top and bottom layers, extra socks and down booties, balaclava, trekking poles, food for 2-3 days.

Shared gear included, among other things, a SPOT device and Sat Phone.

I've been working on helping these guys to improve their emergency packs. Always looking for suggestions.
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