Observed several N-HS-D2-2.5 avalanches along the southern end of the Mammoth Crest and on Pika Peak, none of which were fresher than 48-72 hrs. Many other smaller wind slab crowns visible. Debris still blocky and visible.
Cornices had mostly fallen or had been sculpted back by the N winds, though we avoided skiing the lines that had corniced entrances.
Confidence in Rating:
Toured over Duck Pass from Twin Lakes. Surface conditions were surface facets in the trees, and supportable windboard and panels of surface facets above treeline. Pitching over Duck Pass and skiing down to Duck Lake we were surprised to ski soft facets all the way to the lake, unaffected by wind or sun.
Lakes are well frozen, and touring up to the shoulder of Pika Peak (main chutes coming off Pika Peak were mostly scoured or otherwise unappealing looking) there were large pockets of debris from wind slabs higher up, but we did not find any instability other than shallow cracking in kickturn tests that would indicate a lingering wind slab problem in locations other than unsupported and consequential terrain.
Topped out at 11,500′ at 11:30. Tair38°f
Ski quality was generally decent, at least for a high mountain sight-skiing tour.
Returning to Duck Pass the strong solar radiation and moistened the top 5cm of the snow and was beginning to form a thin crust as the sun dropped and the winds increased.
Overall a lovely day in the mountains, getting to take a look at the blanket of snow over the Silver Divide.
Light , SW
Clear, warm and light winds until returning over Duck Pass, where winds increased to moderate.