-Drove to the end of Horse Meadows Rd (8000'), hiked in a couple miles to ~9300', skinned and booted(crampons) up the NE face to the ridgeline on Mt Gibbs at 12,450' across from Kidney Couloir.
-East to south facing slopes up to ~10,500' softened by late morning, but above tree line we suspect the winds and light clouds didn't allow for much softening on E to S facing slopes, and the increasing cloud cover and chilly temperatures in the afternoon most likely didn't allow for any softening of S to W facing slopes above tree line, despite the calm to light winds.
-No signs of any instabilities anywhere today. No signs of loose-wet at any elevation. No signs of recent wind transport anywhere, but LOTS of evidence of heavy wind effect at treeline and above on all slopes from prior wind events in previous weeks.
*Mostly very firm skiing conditions on the NE face of Gibbs, with sastruggi, and some patches of firn snow mid-way up slope (very hard exposed ice patches left over from last year... wouldn't want to ski onto one by accident!) See attached pic of firm (not firn) / sastruggi conditions.
*See attached photo of Kidney couloir coverage (SE facing slope).
*Greatest safety concern today was firm snow and slide-for-life conditions above tree line.
-Day started mostly sunny with moderate winds. Not much visible snow transport where we were. By afternoon, winds had died down considerably, with only light southerly winds at the ridgetop.
-1pm, 12,450', ridgetop: Airtemp=-6.5deg C (20deg F), winds light from south, increaseing clouds to 3/4 coverage.
-Clouds increased significantly in the afternoon, along with thin very low level clouds ... almost like a thin foggy marine layer. Temps began dropping significantly after noon as well.