Clouds quickly moved into the area around 10am with increasing winds. Clouds steadily thickened and slowly lowered during the day. Temps were near constant.
No recent avalanches were observed.
Early season snow conditions prevail with numerous obstacles including open creeks, bare ground, rocks, and trees. We found a highly variable snowpack by aspect and elevation. In general, the snowpack consists of soft, recent snow from the past week sitting on a very strong and icy base. The interfaces between the last several storms are identifiable, but snowpack tests did not highlight any significant concerns. The snowpack ranged from 12-18" near Paradise (5460') to 24-36" near Panorama Pt (6500') with thinner areas on wind-exposed slopes and on sunnier aspects.
The snow surface was also highly variable with surface hoar and facets found on protected shaded slopes. In steeper sunnier locations, a thin breakable melt-freeze crust formed during the nice weather this weekend.
We did find several wind-loaded pockets of snow, mainly on NE-E aspects in the near treeline band. However, none of our small slope tests produced any cracking nor other signs of instability.
Our primary avalanche concern remained in small isolated pockets of wind loaded snow near and above treeline.