Anticipating terrible snow conditions, we opted for a route with negligible skiing off of groomed tracks: traversing the first few miles of the PCT south of the Pass.
Travel conditions were poor and highly variable. Reasonably stout surface crusts in many locations, but not all, with occasional ski penetration to 10-20cm in places, mostly in the trees.
The section of the route just north of where the PCT first touches the nordic trails was buried in rain-smoothed debris. We disagreed on whether or not ski-crampons were preferable for the requisite crossing, but conditions in the morning approached slide-for-life.
We soaked up the beautiful day, halting our travel where the PCT begins its traverse around Silver, as the traverse was certain to be quite unpleasant. Skinning to Windy Acres was sublime, as was the rest of our travel on groomed tracks on the way home. Even within the ski area as we closed the loop to the car, untracked snow was certain to be quite unpleasant. Tomorrow is a great day for nordic skiing.
I was happily surprised not to see a single person on Granite -- perhaps the first time that's ever happened on such a sunny day.
The slide on Kendall is tremendous, as are those visible in Gold Creek. Reviewing my images for the day, I don't think I've seen any fresh large slides from today, but there are so many out there, it is difficult to be sure.
Photo captions (all images CC-BY-NC-SA-4.0):
1: Cornices shedding on Granite.
2: Throughout the day, we saw remarkable settlement-cracking within the snow, unlike anything we've seen.
3: Glide cracks on Humpback
4: A summary view of Kendall's slide activity. None of these slides *appear* to have run today.
5: A glide crack at the top of Red.
6: A small slab that pulled out on Lundin. It was present early this morning and is probably older than that.