AIARE 2 course toured up NE shoulder of Mount Downs. Overcast and strong gusting winds starting off at 10:30a, plenty of fallen tree limbs evident. Snow coverage below about 8k is getting pretty patchy, but still navigable.
By 11:40 SW winds were down to moderate, gusting strong. Air temps 38F, scattered clouds. On NW aspect at 8400' snow conditions were variable from mostly supportable melt freeze crust to unsupportable surface facets.
Winds diminished somewhat and skies cleared a bit by the time we descended at 2pm from 9.2k on mostly N aspects. Surface conditions were highly variable - temperature crusts, soft surface facets, and a bit of sun softened supportable snow.