Ubiquitous valley coverage of 3-7mm Surface Hoar. Luckily, this persistent grain and surface form did not grow much higher than a 100ft in el. beyond the valley floor in the Cutthroat Creek drainage. The dominate surface form observed was the recent decomposing snows from Dec 21st. I did not observe any near-surface-faceting NSF from the past few days of cold temps below 5500ft during the extreme inversion. In a Observation pit: NE 6850ft-NE Height of Snow: 140cm deep - The obs support and match other observations that the Dec 21-HST interface is down 40-55cm down and the Early-Dec crust is down 80cm. The test results are still failing 2 cm above crust. (see pit image) The results were CTH (28/29)-SP x3 and stubborn, but failing suddenly on the last few blows in every test. No other reactivity to report in the column or from travel. I too observed a thick layer of 1mm facets exists beneath the Early Dec crust (4F hardness), but it did not prove reactive, even with any small column test.
Weather: Snowing after 1:00pm on Dec 25th and increasing through the evening, cool in the morning (19) but warming as the system approached. The trees held their snow all day. Thin clouds in the morning and overcast OVC by late morning leading to obscured OBS by evening. Light winds did pick up and start transporting some at ridge crest as the low energy storm entered the drainages. Boot penetration is less since the solstice storm and around shin deep.
Mark Allen - NWAC Pro Observer East Slopes North