The warm, westerly winds, blowing down valley, seemed to be almost visibly consuming the snowpack. Strong gusts aloft, based on the audible volume, but one cannot imagine any snow available for transport. Clear and sunny, of course.
Old wet loose debris, now settled and smoothed, strangely provided some of the best, most supportable surfaces.
No recent wet loose activity observed.
Snow depths ranged from about 80cm to 120cm Below Treeline in terrain observed today, with bare ground beginning to emerge on south facing terrain that held great skiing in late December. (See photo)
Suspect depths increase dramatically with elevation in more-preserved northerly terrain, but we did not travel above 5000' due to poor conditions.
Previous freezing rain and melt-freeze crusts at the snow surface at valley bottom have almost totally degraded, although superficial freezes are likely with overnight clearing. The low elevation snowpack is essentially isothermal, composed of moist to wet melt forms and rounds.
Travel was reasonable under the forest canopy or on old, settled debris, but largely unsupportable in undisturbed open terrain.
Suspect the Late Jan. PWL is becoming unlikely Below Treeline, but remains worth considering and investigating as one climbs above 5000' or so in more northerly terrain.
We possibly could have initiated some small Wet Loose avalanches, if motivated to do so.