Morning was firm/icy conditions. Could barely get purchase with boots off bootpack (bootpack was pure ice). Snow had softened under trees by mid-morning. Very little postholing, but some. Snow above 4.5k’ along lower ridge was difficult to purchase with crampons and ice axe spike in late morning.
Encountered a bit of fetch descending the ridge down on the east side of Denny Lake. The stuff underneath was hard freeze crust.
Snow softened up further by midday on S facing aspects. Snowshoe crampons had some difficulty biting crust underneath (kept on wanting to slide). Saw cornices on N and E face of ridge on the way around the lake and up the ridge.
The ridge had been heavily impacted by solar input. This made for excellent safe travel in the afternoon booting and using crampons.
Triggered some surface layer soft slabs with my crampons returning on ridge. Soft slabs broke in a planar manner and the issue had isolated propagation. I doubt this layer will be a long term problem with the incoming forecasted snow.
The way down to the lakeside was more punchy with crampons. The way up the ridge was slippery with snowshoes.
Did some tele-snowshoeing down the ridge back to the bootpath. Snow was very corny.
Areas below 4.3k’ which had large degree of solar input were hot garbage in the afternoon (15:00+). I was postholing extensively, sometimes straight to ground (2’). The surface snow is very sugary/smashed potatoes like.