Traveled through Commonwealth to the Kendall area. Light dry snow surface throughout the lower elevations and in sheltered aspects, but blustery cold winds mixed with light precipitation near treeline were actively drifting both the new and older snow. The slide path had areas of smooth boot-top powder, areas of stiff grabby wind slabs, and areas of crust skiing that had been entirely stripped of the new snow. We experienced one small collapse near treeline in a flat area, and observed minor cracking in small wind slabs adjacent to the skin track (see photo).
Dug a pit near 5000ft on a ~25 degree convexity that had a total snow depth of 385cm with the goal of trying to examine both the upper pack and the mid-Jan interface. Found 5cm wind slab (1f) on 15cm of lighter snow (4f) sitting on top of last weekend's crust around 20cm down. Underneath was a progressive stiffening snowpack (4f-1f) above a thicker but decomposing crust around 75cm down that appeared to be the mid-Jan layer of concern. We did two compression tests with easy results (CTE3 and CTE6) both resistant planer and 20cm down on last weekend's crust. We could not get results in the lower pack with compression tests even with "harder than shoulder" hits. Prying with the shovel broke the columns easily but not in a planar fracture, which could suggest the area we dug had been skied through after the mid-Jan rains and was not representative of larger slopes in that exact location. Did not try deep tap tests or propagation saw tests due to the cold temps and conservative travel plan, but we may be at a point where those would be necessary to adequately examine the mid-Jan crust.