Weather: In the morning mostly clear skies, winds 20-30 mph from the NW, well below freezing. Above 6000' the mountain was cloud wrapped and foggy all day. Snow became more frequent by mid-day strong squalls increases winds to 30-40 mph with moderate to heavy snow. By mid afternoon there was snow from 2600' to the summit.
At Sunrise at 3500', high winds had scoured the new snow from Friday so travel alternated between a crunchy crusts, shallow firm wind slabs, and soft drifts. Up the ridge from 4500-5700', conditions were similar but drifts up to 3' deep. In some places, cracks would run short distances from my snowshoe and a shallow top layer (0.5-1") would slide downhill.
From 6,000-7,000 feet the route was thin clear ice with scattered wind slabs up to a foot deep.
From 7400-7700' there is an unavoidable 35-40 degree slope on the ESE aspect of Monitor Ridge. That section had a rapidly loading wind slab that got deep in just a few steps. The top 2-4" of the slab was very poorly adhered to the snow underneath and shallow blocks dislodged when I made a few quick cuts with my ice ax. Three steps in, good judgment prevailed. It was one of those "If I go any farther then all of the money I spent on AVI school was wasted" moments.