Temperatures generally stayed above the freezing mark. Observed an occasional freezing drizzle during the afternoon hours. Moist snow surfaces limited transport from moderate W winds.
On Tuesday I traveled in the Gold Hill ridge area, approximately 2 miles east of Morse Creek. Throughout my tour I found a HS of 80 cm at lower elevations and upwards of 120 cm of snow near ridgetop. At the start of the tour, the air temperature was already above freezing, so unfortunately this made the snow surfaces moist and gloppy.
South aspects in this area have a shallower and isothermal structure. The whole snowpack consists of wet grains with a few prominent crusts thrown in. Generally, travel was supportable and sometimes slick on steeper convexities.
East aspects hold a deeper, colder, and more layered snowpack. In a test profile at 5300 ft on a SE aspect I found a HS of 115 cm. At this location, it was easy to identify the Christmas and MLK crusts interfaces. In snowpack tests, I was getting the most consistent results on the weaker grains directly above the MLK crust, with one test even producing a propagating result with an ECT (ECTP21). This layer sits 30 cm ( 12 inches) below the snow surface. Additionally, I did get one compression test (CT25) result on buried surface hoar from January 4th. This layer sits under the MLK crust and is approximately 45 cm below the surface at this aspect/elevation. I found this layer to be gaining strength and rounding.
Overall, I observed minimal transport despite the moderate/strong wind speeds due to moist surface snow. On my way out for the day, I did see some small rollerballs initiating on steep aspects near cliffs. Signs of instability were not in my face, however the MLK crust will be one to watch going forward.