Toured out from Mill City trailhead for a course in brisk temps to stop at the base of Panorama Dome to take a closer look at the snowpack. Surface conditions were variable, from light unconsolidated powder to almost breakable crust. From 09:40 to 10:18 while investigating, skies were clear, wind ranged from calm periods to light winds from the NW, no snow transport evident at our elevation ~8750' however blowing snow could be seen on the ridgelines adjacent to Mammoth Rock, with evidence of past transport prominent with cornice formation. Wind scouring, loading, and cross-loading are evident on all elevations (including in the trees and what is thought of as "sheltered" areas per the forecast) - see photos.
HS 245cm. We found a small (2cm) layer of fresh, dry snow on the surface from yesterday evening that was very crystalline and starting to facet (surface temp -12°C), but no surface hoar was observed. Consolidated 4cm wind slab below the fresh snow from last night. Shovel tilt test indicated planar sheer with moderate force at the interface between the bottom of the wind slab and the snow below it.
Test Results: ECTN18 @ ~45cm; CT16 RP @ ~20cm; CT29 Non-planar @ ~45cm