A beautiful day out. Aside from a cloudsea easterly-flowing over the pass, visibility and views were as good as they get.
Cold, perhaps the coldest tour I've done at the Pass. My backpack temperature sensor dropped as low as 3F as we descended into a cold cloud at twilight.
Ski quality of untracked snow was very fine. At and below Chair 1 in the morning, low-lying cloudcover generated beautiful stellar flurries, diameter reaching 6-8mm.
No meaningful instability noted -- loose-dry sluffs on our mellow runs were friendly and tame. Ski/pole penetration in the upper reaches of Great Scott was markedly less than we experienced in more-sheltered locations, reaching only boot-top at most, while the trail to Source Lake was frequently approaching knee-deep.
Three things of note:
Surface-snow character: We were surprised to find large-grain snow, a mixture of SH and stellars, even rather deep in the trees. SH to 1 cm; even partial view to sky was sufficient to yield substantial growth. It's present in Big Trees, as well as on all aspects travelled, including W. SH was largest in middle elevations; largest seen was ~4500' on a west aspect.
The observation of SH in the trees will cause us to dial our terrain selection *way* back as soon as there's more than an inch or two of new snow from tomorrow's storm (which might be pre-dawn).
Suncrust: Steepest/sunniest slopes at upper elevations had a soft suncrust in the afternoon. The strongest part of the suncrust was below the surface, with 1-2cm of fluff/larger-grains atop. There was just a touch of solar-driven loose-dry sluffing and a little bit of moistness to those sunny slopes before they refroze.
Holes: Descending out of Great Scott, we were surprised to find a number of holes in the main descent route; while the coverage seems extensive, it's still early. Furthermore, as we continued our descent after traversing into No Fog, one of us popped over a roller and dropped, full-depth, into a creekbed hole. A wet foot and time spent trenching to climb out were the primary casualties, but the experience was spooky, especially late in the day with these temperatures.
(A friendly thank-you to a party who gave us helpful snow-quality information about our intended destinations and to a party that put in a fine and thoughtful skintrack that made our day better.)