My partner and I traveled into the Southback area with the 12/8 layer on mind. We wanted to explore more consequential terrain so we dug a pit on a N aspect below Chicken Head. While we did find the 12/8 layer, it seemed to be inconsistently mixed in the snow (settling after the 12/10 storm cycle?). We performed 4 shovel tilt tests and had successful + clean results on 2 of them right on the 12/8 layer, which we found 18" below the snow surface (yikes). Our hand shear tests produced nothing and pole tests indicated an upright snowpack (giving us somewhat misleading info). In addition, we performed a column test and beat the crap out of it without movement.
The takeaway (for us) is that the 12/8 layer still exists and is buried 12-18" deep. That was enough for us to carefully consider our objectives and line choices that day. Other than the pit, we saw no other evidence of avalanche activity.
Be vigilant. Don't always trust the skin track.