We departed the trailhead at 2:15am on skins to find generally favorable travel conditions until reaching about 6,500' (~6:00am) where melt-freeze created a pencil to knife hard crust on show that had clearly been wind affected as well. We alternatively had success using ski crampons or booting up the remainder of the summit. After dealing with equipment issues on the crater rim, we departed at 9:00am to find butter snow after descending to ~7,000' (firmer snow above). With respect to travel conditions for both the ascent and descent as well as avalanche hazard, we felt that the timing was perfect given today's conditions. We didn't observe any true corn; given the rate of warming and snow conditions we doubted that bonafide corn would form.
Numerous parties (20-50 people) were mid climb or lower as we descended towards treeline (and created the above mentioned wet loose). Travel conditions seemed to be worsening given the high heat of the day (81F by the time we reached I5 at 1:00pm). Equipment issues took us off skis from time to time and when standing on boots, it was easy to post hole to knee to thigh deep. Our risk tolerance and experience might lead us to more conservative decision making, but we still wonder how reasonable it is to begin to ascend above treeline during late morning on such a warm day.