It was a lovely spring day. A light breeze and cold temperatures kept surfaces from getting wet and heavy, even on steep easterly aspects in the sun. The winds were not enough to drift any of the soft snow around. High clouds were just beginning to move in by 1:30pm.
There is decent snow coverage down to the trailhead at 3900ft, even though steep south slopes are melted back to bare ground. By 4500ft, snow depths increased, and travel was easygoing but a bit slippery on the underlying crust. It took a while for surfaces to warm up even in the direct sun, and shady spots stayed frozen into the early afternoon. We expected to find wet snow and rollerballs on steep sunny slopes, but the temperatures and light winds kept surfaces slightly cooler than anticipated.
If I used one word to describe the day, it would be "variable." At elevations above 4500ft, soft dry snow could be found on northerly aspects, while sunnier slopes had settled snow with surface crusts. Previous winds drifted around the recent snow, and snow depths over the crust ranged from 1" to 8". We did not observe any cracking or other signs of instability in the wind-drifted snow. However, this surface snow was beginning to facet and weaken.
We found 150cm of snow in a flat sheltered location at 5900ft. The lower snowpack consists of weaker snow interspersed with melt-freeze crusts.