We went for a tour up the NE face of Basin Mt today today see what the recent snow had left behind, and look for some of the near surface faceting below the older wind crusts that some previous observations had mentioned.
We found a soft surface snow of 10-20cm, much of it surpsingly unaffected by wind. In some places, the new snow was consistently bonded to the wind board layer below, but other places were more likely to be sloughing and slippery, There didn't seem to be any pattern to these placements, and we speculated that it could have more to do with the wildly inconsistent nature of the wind crusts themselves rather than the new snow.
In the older crusts, we found wind board layers varying from 2cm to 12cm thick, with no particular pattern of placement. We dug a test pit at 11,100ft on a 28degree NE slope, where we observed about 10cm of new snow on top of a 8-12cm P hard wind slab, and below that we did indeed observe a very thin layer of facets between the wind slab and the 4F-F hard settled snow below it. With some strong ecouragement, we did also get test columns of this slab to release on the facet layer with a smooth planar failure, The good news is that continued observations showed these conditions to be very patchy and inconsistent in placement, and while they were not especailly widespread, we couldn't really assess how large an area(s) they might possibly cover.