Traveled XC trails toward Diamond Head then ascended southernly, parallelling the drainage. Made a quick observation with skis at the first talus field and noticed the snow was heavier than in the trees and very reactive. I was able to create a decent crack in the snow with a few aggressive in-place ski jumps. Was on super mellow terrain with no consequences. After traveling a little further, I dug a quick shovel pit to find the same reactivity on the top 22cm of snow which was sitting on top of a weak crust (Dec 21 crust I assume) followed by varied hardness of rotten snow (47.314162, -120.563399 (Between Diamond Head & Windy Knob) @ ~5,200'). Observations appeared to confirm the forecast which kept us to mellow terrain.