Crown a few centimeters deep naturally triggered apparently by some falling snow from a tree onto a steep NE aspect that was actively loading. Very shallow, but propagated across a large portion of the slope. Located in the steep slopes just separated from the skin track below Pinnacle Peak.
Also noticed a few other small pockets of wind slab in abnormal locations with similar triggers from falling snow.
Signs of Unstable Snow
With the obvious potential for Wind slab, we steered well clear of steeper loaded slopes. In doing so, we did not observe shooting cracks or other signs of unstable wind slabs. Near and below treeline winds were calm across both N and S aspects with pretty heavy and moist snow from the transition into treed terrain. Lower down (though still >5000 feet) and unpredictably dispersed there was an apparent zipper rain crust underneath 2-3 cm of snow making for some challenging travel conditions.
Observed Avalanche Problem #1:
In the open alpine regions, wind was swirling and unpredictable. It was a bit challenging to tell what was stripped and what was loaded other than everything out in the open being pretty stripped. Slightly down from the ridge at the castle it appeared to be blowing downslope (S), but nearer the ridge it was more up and slightly across the slope (NW). Winds were mostly calm at and below treeline.