4-8” of very light and cold snow fell on Monday and the changing winds have been redistributing it ever since. Wind drifts have been found on favorable alpine features on many aspects. Many of these older wind slabs have gained strength and would be very difficult to trigger. But the recent cold temperatures may have slowed the bonding between old snow and slab in a few locations. If you decide to play in steep terrain above treeline today you should be aware of where snow has previously drifted. Hollow sounding drifts, or denser snow that cracks around you means that wind slabs may still fail under your weight. You’re most likely to find these slabs at high elevations just under cornices, in the tops of chutes, and on the steepest part of convexities.
On sheltered and lower elevation slopes the storm snow is largely undisturbed. It’s soft and lacks cohesion. That means that as temperatures climb up to well above freezing today you may find sunny slopes are becoming wet and less stable. Pay attention to rollerballs and small point releases originating from rocky outcrops or cliff bands and under trees. These indicate that the sun is heating the snow and the risk of loose wet avalanches is increasing. Though the danger is not expected to be very high, it will rise as the sun heats E facing slopes in the morning and then follow it across S and SW facing slopes by late afternoon.
Hard surfaces like wind board, crusts, and ice all make for treacherous conditions in the event of a fall. Ice axes and crampons are a good idea if you plan to venture into steep or consequential terrain today.