Ventured out to the Red Cone zone this afternoon to assess how the new storm snow is bonding to the existing snowpack before the next round of storms arrives.
I observed intense westerly wind transport on ridges while driving from Bishop to the trailhead, particularly on ridges near or on the crest. I left the TH around 1200 and reached the top of the crest (~10,500') around 1300. I stuck entirely to E aspects on my first two laps, finding firm, wind-affected snow immediately on and below ridges and soft, generally right-side-up snow in more sheltered areas. Gladed areas held the softest snow, while more open areas had a thin zipper crust that was pleasant and easy to ski through. Poking out into steeper terrain (~40 degrees) NTL, I found slightly more cohesive surface snow but nothing I would classify as a true wind slab.
While skinning up for my final lap, I felt the gentle caress of a prefrontal system, which reduced visibility to tens of meters. I followed the skin track down, sticking to N and NE aspects. The snow was somewhat heavier relative to E aspects but still skied nicely. Wind transport at lake level during the skate out was quite strong, with foot-plus drifts having formed since I skinned in.