Toured up Old Man's Bowl today, thinking there might be some nice turns on the bowl's solar aspects. There were not. However, it was a spectacular day in the mountains. The face of the moraine was quite challenging. We should have gone up the main gully.
While we did not observe any signs of instability today, we did find some touchy crusts sitting on near surface facets (I've been noticing this on sheltered ridge lines throughout our area lately). Also more generally, there were widespread near surface facets throughout the tour (mostly below crusts but sometimes on the surface).
Ski crampons and whippet/axe are essential in the alpine and other exposed areas. Other tourers going up the bowl without crampons were unable to continue.
The non-solar aspects in the bowl were quite firm wind board. Solar aspects in the bowl were softish sastrugi when we ascended on them around noon and pole penetration was around 10-15cm. By the time we descended at 1pm, everything was refrozen. The ski down was not the highlight of the day.