Toured to 10650' on Red Mtn this morning. On the drive, several new slides were evident in steep gullies in the Wheeler Crest and on the E face of McGee - probably all storm or wind slabs. Weather was mostly sunny with just light-moderate winds around 10k'. By 10am, rollerballs were starting from our skin track on ENE aspects.
Wind lips/cornice were evident on the E aspect of the top ridges of the mountain so I expected a lot of wind-affected snow up high; that was not necessarily the case. The surprise of the day was that it appeared that a substantial part of yesterday/last night's snow fell without much wind. Even above 10500' in wind-exposed areas, there was a 10cm layer of powder that had been moved around a bit but was still soft.
At 7250' in the trees we found 33cm of new light powder. Breaking trail in the pow was arduous until around 10k where the loose snow was not as deep. The new snow exhibited some slab tendencies, but stomping on switchbacks only caused shooting cracks about 1' in length. Near and above treeline, very hard wind slabs underlay the new snow, but they showed no signs of reactivity.