Over the last week since the storm on January 16th many field observations have come in highlighting our thin snowpack and poor structure. While our concern spiked initially over how the weak snowpack would accept the new load, natural and artificially triggered avalanches were confined to surface instabilities during and immediately following the storm. In the time since we have seen the new snow bonding well to the old snow surface, however, as this snow has settled, it has also formed a more cohesive slab. Numerous large collapses, surface cracking, and test results showing propagation potential have been reported from all corners of the range. It is worth noting that while a weak faceted snowpack has been found throughout the range at all elevations, we cannot point to a specific layer of concern. Instead, we are dealing with a variety of facet crust combos and large variability when it comes to slab density and thickness. While the chances are good that the conditions exist somewhere in our range for a persistent slab avalanche to occur, it is likely that they are limited to isolated areas. Observations have indicated sparse coverage, particularly at lower elevations and on windward and solar aspects. For the most part, contiguous snowfields are limited to high-elevation cirques, while at mid and lower elevations, snowfields are broken by shallow reefs, exposed rock bands, and reappearing vegetation. This variability may be working in our favor by bisecting weak layers and limiting the size of potential slabs. A large load of new snow would likely kick off a significant avalanche cycle, but for the time being, initiating an avalanche on these buried weak layers will require and artificial trigger. Don’t be afraid to dig in and evaluate the underlying snowpack for instabilities and realize that given the spatial variability, conditions found in one area are not going to be representative of the big picture.