Skied out of Hilton Creek drainage today, touring from 7,000′ to 12,600′ on mostly NE and E terrain.
Cold, inverted temps gave way to a beautiful alpine day with few clouds, temps near freezing, and strong solar radiation. Lower elevation slopes are settled and faceting where north facing and protected, though many exposed panels have such 3D wind affected snow that are a challenge to ski and are a mix of breakable windboard and facets.
Higher up TL and ALP elevations 10-15cm of recent HST is sitting on old windboard and is faceting. Below ridgetops at 12,000 and above new snow had been blown off and firm, edgeable snow remains, requiring boot crampons. Ridge top winds were strong and sustained, blowing minimal snow and no wind loading was observed.
By 12:30pm TL and BTL solars were beginning to moisten, though only in the top 2-3cm, and sky went from FEW to OVC-. No signs of instability observed today.