AIARE 1 with Northwest Mountain School. Challenging AM skinning due to firm conditions and surface crust. Crust began to soften approaching late morning. Ascended to 4450'. Temperature of 8.3 C/ 47F at 12:30 PM. Good mid-day corn skiing for around 1500 ft on 38-degree slope before encountering a solid crust again at lower elevations. Needle hoar frost 5-6mm in size still abundant in the shade at approx. 3400' at 3:15 PM. 2.5C/36.5F at 3:15 PM at the base.
Older slides observed during the day while ascending, including a large (D2-2.5) wet loose run on the SSE aspect that has since set up and was very firm . No instability observed; no roller balls or pinwheels. Beware of soft spots while skinning up and gaps on the downslope side of buried bushes and exposed rock on the descent.