Cold and mostly clear first thing, with passing clouds throughout the morning. If you were in the true sunshine, you could feel the warmth.
Spotted a number of loose avalanches from recent days and today. Many were dry, but some were induced by solar helping snow shed from trees and rocks. There were two more sizeable moist loose avalanches on the highway paths as I headed home around noon.
Had a compressed timeline between a morning staff meeting and needing to be home for forecasting - So I bumped up the chair and linked up with the Alp Patrol for a few laps to check on conditions prior to the incoming storm.
There was widespread surface hoar throughout all areas we traveled, capping the fairly low-density HST over the 2/25. Quick hand pits were fairly unremarkable, but it was easy to find wind-stiffened snow slightly under the surface. Digging around on Draft Dodger, I found some graupel/rimed precipitation particles near the 2/25 interface (down 56cm). This layer showed up during informal tests like the shovel shear but did not fail during compression tests. The bond at the 2/25 was better than I had anticipated in this location, but avalanche professionals relayed to me that it wasn't as favorable in other spots around the valley. No other layers really jumped out to me at this time, although some were highlighted in the soft upper snowpack.
We took a spin through Rockface that quickly put the fear of God in me. That thing is terrifying right now.