Yup, the snow is characterized by wind at low elevation, too. This NNE slope up to 4800' in a valley ought to be well sheltered, but there was wind affected snow pretty much all the way to the bottom (4100'). Isolated cracking 4' long (in a 2" slab) and minor collapsing just below the ridge did not persist further down. Firm drifts 2' deep on the road cut were impressive. A random mix of powder, breakable crust, and firm wind-blasted surfaces could make for an unpredictable interface with new snow. The W ridge was mostly firm, icy in spots, low coverage.