Cold and calm. Periods of light snow yielded to weak, filtered sunshine and predominant overcast. (see photo) The upper 50cm of the snowpack could easily be available for transport.
In contrast, the valley floor near Mazama was heavily affected by the ongoing down-valley winds, presumably channeled by the Methow and Lost watersheds from the Fraser River outflow event.
No avalanches observed
Snowdepths on southerly slopes on the far eastern portion of Delancey Ridge ranged from 110cm to 180cm.
The Solstice Crust was down 50cm in a test pit on a south aspect at 5100'. (see photo) Compression Tests produced no results and it was well-bonded to overlying recent accumulations. The crust is 1cm thick and 1F+ in hardness and seems to be decomposing.
We ski tested steep, unsupported features. Although we could generate some loose dry activity, it failed to entrain down to the crust.
Nonetheless, it is probably worth keeping the existence of the Solstice Crust in mind (easily discerned with a pole plant, but not felt while skiing) moving forward, with the inevitable faceting of the upper snowpack, and possible implications for a future loading event.
The Early December Crust was down 140cm above 6000'.
We found no other layers of note today, and windslab was absent in terrain observed.
Favorable hardness profile, but what is the true hardness of cold smoke?
We found no problems today, other than minimal loose dry activity. We expect that this problem will become a bit more of a concern as snow surfaces lose cohesion with the cold air temps. this week.