Headed up the Mt Olsen ridge out of Virginia Lakes today and got to just above 11000ft at noon. In the lower forest around 9-10000ft there was an average of 2″ of new snow with amounts increasing as I climbed higher with the deepest amounts totaling around 6″ where wind deposited on northerly aspects.
The morning remained cool and below freezing with a light northerly wind and a few light snow showers. New snow stayed light until noon when the sun started breaking out and immediately heating new snow surfaces.
New snow was well bonded to old surfaces and it wasn’t until around 10,800ft that the new snow displayed some slight stiffening and very minor cracking where it was more wind affected and cross-loaded amongst sastrugi.
I imagine at higher elevations and in more complex terrain that captured more wind driven snow that there was deeper deposits and more potential to trigger a soft slab on old, smooth surfaces.
Minor new sensitive cornice development on southerly aspects on Mt Olsen ridge from the northerly winds.
I saw other skiers tracks on the lower half on South Peak as well as the Easterly side of Red Lake bowl, and from my vantage point could not see any significant skier triggered point releases or the like.
As soon as the sun came out, any new snow getting touched by solar immediately became moist and quite sticky. I could tour back to my truck on flat to a bit uphill terrain without skins on.
I did not observe any natural avalanches today or instability in my tour. I did not enter terrain steeper than 35deg though or travel in areas such as chutes or bigger alpine deposition zones.
Light , NE
30degF @ 9300ft @ 1000am
25degF @ 11,100ft @ 1200pm
44degF @ 9300ft @ 130pm
Primarily obscured all morning with a few snow flurries and light to moderate breezes from the northeast. By noon the clouds started breaking and the sun came out which immediately started warming new snow dramatically on most aspects except for steeper northerly tilted faces.