Departed Mount Hood Meadows closure shortly before 9am with stretch goal skiing Newton Clark Headwall based on prior tour observations. Unfortunately the same May malady (large runnels and wet avys, albeit not as intense) that have done in Leutholds and Reid Headwall apron seems to have afflicted NCHW as well (at least from afar…climb took longer than expected so passed on chance to verify from above to ensure less crusty Wy’east descent).
Respected MHM special off-season work closure guidelines (first pic, yellow off-limits area as found in their website) for approach and exit. Dallas Bowl was heavily melted out as was sneak return via area I believe is called A-Zone (forcing a short re-ascent out of Heather…ski made it worth it vs dealing w Dallas again). Mid-ascent (9500’, nowhere near ridge) of Wy-east, surprised to feel my axe shaft hit ground/rock at about only 1.5’ of depth. Stable bootpack track for almost entirety of late afternoon climb, albeit did punch through a couple times in the final bit. Snow at the end of the climb had “finned-out” some (not the right term, guessing cause is similar to sun-cupping dynamics maybe mixed w wind?). Not an issue for ascent, but wouldn’t want to ski it after it had firmed up.
Pics include Crater environs for Southside climbers/skiers seeking berg/snow beta, etc.