No avalanche hazards currently. Biggest concern currently is the thin snowpack with abundant obstacles and the variable/firm/breakable surface conditions. The one thing consistent about the variable snowpack is layers of crusts and developing weak sugary facets. While these facets aren’t a stability concern now, when we get a load of snow on-top they will likely become one.
Calm winds down low, light easterly breeze above treeline, moderate easterly wind at ridge top. ~40°F at 9am at 9900′.
Took advantage of Tioga Rd being open to the Yosemite Park Entrance at Tioga Pass to access higher elevations where there is snow. Goals were to check out the snowpack and see how high elevation easterly slopes were softening from the sun, with a hope of some high elevation corn turns as a bonus on the way down. Began tour at Junction Campground at intersection of Tioga Rd and Saddlebag Rd (saddlebag Rd is closed beyond this point). Hiked on trail with patches of snow to the takes, then skinned across lakes and up easterly slopes of False White Mtn, and back down same way.
Overall thin shallow snowpack ranging from bare to ~1.3m where drifted. Dug two pits:
1) At 9900′ on a protected NNW aspect below treeline.
2) Another just below the summit ridge of False White at 11,800′ on an East aspect. Snow depth ranged in pit from 60cm-130cm. Compression tests produced no concerning results (CT23Q3 below mid-pack crust in facets x2).
Snow surface is very variable with areas of firm windboard, pockets of sugary snow, and breakable.
The snow on the great looking east face from 11,800-11,000′ showed no signs of a corn cycle, the sun is simply too low in the sky and temps not warm enough. Perhaps corn could be found on a more SE facing slope, but then there is the problem of most slopes with southerly exposure being melted bare or atleast having very thin coverage. There was the slightest bit of superficial moistening/softening on areas of that slope that had that strange feathery melt/freeze micro-sastruggi surface texture.
No concerns over stability what-so-ever today. Biggest hazard was the challenging surface conditions and the abundant obstacles. I brought along boot and ski crampons, but didn’t end up using them, but probably would have if it was more consistently firm or steeper.