We were able to get a look at a variety of aspects at all three elevation bands today in the Dana Plateau / Lee Vining Canyon area. We were out of the mountains before 1 PM and so observations may be biased towards stronger snow and better stability than may have developed in the late afternoon.
Desipte writing in the forecast that we had a weak refreeze overnight, we found strong melt-freeze snow at all elevations on our ascent.
BTL the crust was only 10cm thick over wet snow, but even in the early afternoon northeast, east, southeast, and south slopes below 10,000′ were mostly supportable for skis.
Crampons and an ice axe were useful on steep (> 45 degrees) east and northeast slopes above treeline.
Above treeline gusty north winds provided sufficient cooling to moderate the rate of warming in the alpine. Surfaces still softened enough for secure and efficient travel.
No signs of avalanche activity in the past 48 hours and overhanging cornices were an isolated hazard.
There is still good coverage all the way to the road in Lee Vining canyon.
Moderate , NE
It was a pleasant day in the mountains. Light ot moderate wind had a cooling effect on the snow. The cooling delayed the onset of wet snow instability, bu snow surfaces softened by late morning on solar aspects.