We saw two regimes on tour from Alpental upper parking lot to Snow Lake Divide.
Below 4500 feet, e.g. around Source Lake, heavy wet snow, ski pen 20 cm. Small debris fields in most slide paths and below steep features, likely wet loose, on all aspects. No live slides observed.
Above 4500 feet nearly to Snow Lake Divide ridgeline, we encountered progressively thicker crust. Trees encased in ice. Large snow bombs falling. Continuous sound of melting water still at 1 PM, suggesting temps still above freezing. Variable weather: sun poked through occasionally, dog, wind gusts, though mostly overcast. On descent to Snow Lake, crust remained breakable and treacherous to continue, so turned around.
Dug a pit on north face of Snow Lake Divide at 4500 feet. 290 cm TS. 1-2 cm ice crust. 8-10 cm loose snow, fist. 85 cm settled storm snow with water infiltration, 4F to 1F. Consistent density. At bottom of this layer, snow became very wet (snowballs congealed easily). 12/25 ice crust 3-5 cm. Below this, we found transformed snow grains to ground, fist. With compression test, observed no signs of layering in column above 12/25 crust. No movement with violent taps. Bear hug moved the column, remained intact.
On descent, 4 PM, observed cooling, ice layer on top thickening above 4500 feet, not quite yet supportive person weight. Water/snow no longer shedding from trees. Below 4500 feet, snow was soft with no crust, making for decent turns. Weather overcast.