Partially sunny skies in the morning before clouds rolled in along with light (S-1) snowfall, and gusty winds by the afternoon. Windward aspects were well scoured, but there was still available snow blowing and drifting around near ridges.
We traveled through the lower Icicle and observed the new snow to be well bonded to the thick Ice layer from the freezing rain event in early January. There is now about 5-7inches of snow on this crust, with very weak 2mm facets below. The freezing rain crust varied from 1-3 inches thick and was supportable in most locations. In some locations, there were two crusts with facets in between.
As we climbed up from the road we performed quick hand pits at various elevations. All these simple tests indicated the new storm snow was well bonded to the underlying melt-freeze crust. Below the new storm snow, between 4500ft and 5500ft in sheltered open locations, there is a crust facet sandwich that consists of a thin melt-freeze crust over 5cm of small facets over a thick melt-freeze crust. The facets were .5mm, poorly developed, and stability tests results showed no signs of reactivity. However, it will be worth tracking this layer as we receive additional snow.
Ridges at upper elevations had significant wind effect. However, wind slabs on east aspects were stubborn and we did not experience cracking or collapsing. North and west aspects were scoured to the crust.
While upper elevations with more storm snow kept your skis from touching the underlying crust, good skiing could be found at most elevations in open terrain. Lower elevations under tree canopy consisted of challenging uphill travel with ski crampons and less than desirable "reef" crust skiing back downhill.
5000ft E aspect
Crust/Facet layer ↓ 35cm
6300ft NE aspect
Crust/facet layer was not present