I hiked and skied around Excelsior Pass from Hwy 542. Not enough snow to skin until 3800ft.
I dug a pit on a SW face at 5200 ft. I found 10in of new medium density powder. Below it was older wet, heavy, icy snow. The top powder was slabby but well bonded to the older snow. An extended column failed at the new powder with a few taps from the elbow. The fracture was not clean. The rest of the column did not react.
I dug another pit on a NW face at 5400. The results were similar.
Visibility was poor so I stuck to low angle terrain, except for a few surprise rollovers (visibility was poor and light was awful). Lots of wind transport but no signs of instability.
There were no other tracks and surprisingly, no snowmobilers.