Feeling intimidated by significant recent accumulations of storm snow and wind transport Above Treeline, our team chipped cautiously into the alpine today. We chose terrain features well-protected from the ongoing Dry Loose cycle, emanating from very steep, rocky alpine starting zones. Additionally, debris from the previous, larger avalanche cycle on Jan. 4 offered more-reasonable travel, with ski pen only 30-40cm down to supportable surfaces.
A profile at 5600' on a NE aspect, with an HS of 280cm revealed no layers of concern in the upper snowpack. In our field location, the Early December Crust was at a well-padded depth of 205cm and showed a favorable bond with overlying snow.
While Dry Loose instabilities are sometimes considered to be an avalanche problem when we cannot find any others to identify (i.e. great skiing), in the present circumstance, the mountains continue to shed the significant recent storms, entraining enough snow to bury a skier in certain terrain.