There were no reports of recent avalanche activity in the backcountry yesterday. One person skied the Negatives yesterday without incident. This is not sufficient information to convince me that avalanche danger rating is LOW. Over 12 inches of new snow fell on Wednesday accompanied by strong winds during and after the storm. The lack of natural activity is worrisome because it means the wind loading and new snow was not quite enough to create avalanches during the storm, so it is possible that wind slabs in alpine terrain are still sensitive to skier triggering.
Ski patrol reported 4-8" wind slabs releasing with ski cuts and larger slabs with hand charges. Backcountry avalanche forecasters pay attention to ski patrol control results during and after a storm because it gives relevant information on new snow instability- it is reasonable to expect that if ski cuts are producing small wind slabs in storm snow on Mammoth and June Mountains and there was no natural avalanche activity reported from the Mammoth Lakes basin, it is possible for a skier or rider to trigger an avalanche today. Avoid steep wind loaded terrain- look for rounded pillow forms below ridgetops.
Today will be the day before the next storm and I expect this weekend storm to produce a natural avalanche cycle because of the amount of snow fall in a short period of time.