Toured between 3.5k and 5.7k in the Chikamin Creek zone today, traveling from moderately angled S facing terrain to moderate/steep treed NE facing terrain. We departed the south facing terrain at 4.2k- up to this point, a prominent crust (New Years?) was present underlying approximately 5-10cm of new snow. Once onto E/NE aspects, the recently buried surface crust present on S aspects disappeared and snow overlying the Christmas crust was right side up.
The day began warm with up to S2 precip at times. Precip waned by early afternoon. Skies were obscured throughout the day, though adjacent ridges (which were not visible in the morning) began to peak through in the afternoon. Winds were moderate out of the SW at a 5.7k ridgetop. HS at 5.7k 130cm. We observed minimal windslab formation on lee sides of ridges, and no reactivity in mildly wind stiffened snow on slopes steeper than 30 degrees. A hand pit at 5.5k on a NE aspect demonstrated 35cm of right side up snow overlying the Christmas crust, and generally lacking cohesiveness in this non-wind affected spot. Hand shear test in this location was non-reactive.
Our only observation of instability was skier triggered dry loose which on steep convexities would entrain the snow that had fallen in the last 24hrs. We observed one dry loose that ran 150 vertical feet before coming to a stop in more moderately angled terrain.