Skied Langley today in the gnarliest, most aggressive weather I've ever been out in. We parked at about 5900' and at 0700 it was 15 degrees F. On the ridge it was much colder, before factoring in the wind chill (maybe somewhere in the negative teens with wind chill?). The amount of coverage down there is astounding. Around 7500' there is at least 3-4' of snow, and we didn't tag any rocks. We probed at 10k' in the gully marked on the map (fairly protected but does experience significant wind) and found about 3 meters of snow! There was a patch thin crust, then the top 50 cm was very light, the probe fell through straight through, to a crust at 50cm. Then there was 100cm of right side up new snow until a crust at 150cm. Below that is very consolidated, mostly right side up snow with a less dense layer in the bottom 20cm or so that must have once been facets from early winter (? we didn't dig down to see what they are now). Down low in the trees the skiing quality was excellent, and we skied powder from 10k' in tuttle creek to almost 6k'. We saw no signs of instability, and no recent avalanches though there was one of the biggest debris fields I've ever seen at the bottom of the north coulior which must have ran sometime in the last monster storm.
But you don't ski the southern sierra for low elevation glades... Up high we found snow that had been absolutely hammered by incredible winds. There was widespread wind board, wind textured snow, abundant sastrugi, pockets of powder intermixed with patchy crusts, and large sections of the north couloir held the best wind blown powder I've ever skied. Despite the dire sounding descriptions, both the skiing and skinning was very high quality. We were able to skin all the way to 13,400' and the final bootpack was easy on good booting snow. Everything we skied was very edgeable and never felt scary, and there were only 100 or so feet of difficult skinning to get to a soft patch that took us through the steepest sections guarding the ridge.
The main danger we encountered were ferocious winds and arctic temperatures. We saw ridgetop winds easily gusting into the 50s. If anyone is thinking of skiing big in the southern sierra during this cold period, make sure to pack extra warm gear and make sure to have a really good face mask. On the ridge I felt like I was dressed for Alaska, puffy pants and all, and wasn't hot. I'd also recommend bringing serious bivy gear, because if something did go wrong out there, it would be a major struggle to last until a rescue without very warm gear and protection (we had enough to spend a cold night safely as long as we got off the ridge).
That said, the coverage is so good down there and the snow is actually pretty fun. I think it is totally worth it (as long as you are careful!), and there is now a really nice skinner to the top of Langley:)