Moderate, cold east winds blowing through the pass in the late morning. No transport observed. Snow hadn't started yet by the time I left at noon.
The upper snowpack in the 5,000ft zone consisted of a number of crusts and facet layers, some weaker than others. A thin, fairly slick sun crust had formed on a due west aspect from previous days. Anything north of west to east held nice, recycled powder that skiied fast. Under a lens, I found small but sharp near surface facets (see photo below).
The crust from 1/27 was generally down 10-15cm and was stronger in some places than others. In some areas it was quite brittle and almost none existent.
The crust from MLK weekend was generally down 25-50cm and was uniformly found as a 1cm thick, clear ice lens.
On a west aspect at 5,200ft in an open area that had seen previous wind drifting, hand shears did break on the MLK crust, but were somewhat irregular, and took a lot of force. Another quick profile at 4,800ft on west aspect without wind loading showed easier, and cleaner hand shears in between the 1/27 and MLK crusts, and at the interface of the MLK crust.
On NE at 5,200ft a profile showed HS of 265cm. The 1/27 crust was down about 18cm, a subtle but slightly weaker layer was found down 30cm, and the MLK crust was down 50cm. Test results were CTM SP x2 down 18cm on small facets, and CTM SP and RP down 50cm on 1-1.5mm faceted rounds on the MLK crust (1F- hardness).