The day started with calm winds, mild temperatures, and overcast skies. We even got to enjoy a few brief sun breaks during the late morning. Winds remained light as it began snowing around 1:30 pm when we returned to the snowmobiles parked at 5000ft. Snow turned to rain at approximately 4200ft.
We found moist snow surfaces at the 2600ft trailhead and easy travel on the groomed snowmobile trail. Slopes, especially sunny west and south aspects, had lots of bare ground showing. As we gained elevation, the snowpack became slightly more substantial but was still more reminiscent of late April conditions. A stark difference exists between aspects in the Teanaway area. Steep southern and western aspects are melted out to the ground, while northern and eastern aspects still have significant snow. On low-angle sheltered terrain, we found 71cm of snow on a westerly slope and 120cm on an east-facing slope. The difference was even more significant on steeper terrain, with 0-30cm on snow on a rocky west slope and 110cm on an Eastern aspect below melted back cornices.
The snowpack consisted of moist melt forms of varying hardness. Northerly aspects were not supportable to foot travel, and you easily sunk in up to mid-thigh. Southerly aspects still consisted of moist grains throughout but were slightly more supportable, with boot penetration from 0-15cm.
At elevations above 4000-5300ft, we found 1-2cm of recent snow, which was moist from the warm temperatures. Even sheltered northern aspects at 5000ft did not escape the heat, and we listened to the recent snow and rime continuously falling from the trees.