It was a benign weather day with mild temperatures, overcast skies, and calm winds. Previous winds have left textured surfaces and some drifts, but even in these areas the surface was soft (F) and lacked any stiff wind crust.
At the trailhead, there was around 5cm of new snow. On some steep southerly road cutbanks, there was a thin melt-freeze crust on the surface. But most areas had soft surface snow. The recent storm snow totals increased quickly, and above 4500ft, I found 15-30cm of recent snow, with the greater depths existing in forest openings and meadows. Travel below the tree canopy was challenging at times, with a slippery crust beneath the new snow. If I had been on steeper terrain, I would have needed ski crampons.
Quick hand pits showed an overall favorable bond to this underlying crust. However, a snow profile dug at 4800ft did show some weak faceted snow beneath the crust with sudden failures on compression tests, although shear quality was low with a rough uneven surface. This layer did not show a propensity for propagation in an extended column test. This crust was fragile and not supportable to boots at these elevations in open areas.
I observed drain channels in the snowpack, and water seems to be pooling on the Christmas crust, buried around 100cm deep. The snow above this crust was P hard, moist melt forms. The other notable crust is the MLK crust which is buried 70cm deep in this location and produced no notable snowpack test results.
There was a layer of surface hoar at upper elevations in gladed areas that had recently been blown over by the winds but was still intact, just laid over.