We chose mellow terrain below tree line today, given the high winds and snow totals from the evening.
Early in the day we observed very strong winds down into the valleys, with significant snow transport. Winds began to decrease by the afternoon.
Below tree line we found 8-12 inches of new snow. This snow was wind distributed even below tree line. We found wind features in dense trees, and unusual loading patterns below tree line.
We were able to trigger both dry loose and storm slab avalanches on test slopes below tree line. The storm snow was slightly upside down, with very low density snow on the bottom, and slightly denser snow on top. This snow was reactive both on test slopes and in quick hand shear tests.
We did not observe any natural avalanches, likely due to generally low visibility and the fact that we avoided steep, exposed terrain.
Skiing conditions were excellent; despite the slightly upside down storm snow and the extent of wind transport, the upper snowpack remained light and fluffy.