It was a beautiful sunny but chilly and at times blustery day in the mountains. Down at pass level, the east flow cycled some low-level clouds in and out during the morning hours. We were out of the field by noon.
We were able to intentionally trigger a number of Wind Slabs on convex rollovers during our travels. One crown was easily over a foot at the thickest part. These unstable pockets were easy to spot as they had similar terrain characteristics and plenty of visual clues keyed us into where they were more prevalent.
The snowpack has consolidated considerably and gained strength since we were last out on Thursday. Unfortunately, the winds have had their way with the snow in wind-prone areas, creating wind slabs on specific terrain features and firming up the low-density powder that many recreationalists enjoy. In wind-sheltered areas, low-density cold snow still exists but is not as deep as it was previously.
We dug to ground at 5200' on a N aspect near the top of Alp and found about 4.5 feet (136cm) of snow. We would categorize the snowpack as generally strong with roughly 2.5 feet of snow from this past week sitting above a series of crusts and mostly strong grains. We did find some previously weak snow just below the lower crust, but it appears to have been wetted and is gaining strength. Deep tap tests on this layer did not produce any noteworthy results.
Found some fantastic skiing at mid to lower elevations, but there are definitely still plenty of holes, boulders, creeks, and shrubs to watch out for.
Comments: Reactive to ski cuts on some slopes. More stubborn on others.