Melt/Freeze crust from early December warmup was more supportive on sunnier aspects and slightly punchy on shadier aspects at lower elevations. Low coverage still and newer 2-5 inches did a good job of camouflaging buried obstacles.
I expected thinner conditions than my thanksgiving tour, but snow depths were similar but vary widely with aspect and elevation, general amounts remained at
4-8 inches at 6400’
1-2 feet at 7400’
1-3 feet at 8400’
I dig a pit on a due north aspect at 7822’.
105 cms total snow depth
CT11 Q3 on thanksgiving crust 95 cms
CT16 Q2 at crust at 85 cms
CT21 Q2 70cms
Unable to get ground facets to fail.
Needless to say it did not inspire confidence and I kept with my original plan of skiing low angle terrain on easterly facing ridges.
Newly formed cornices were sensitive to the weight of a skier and initiated loose snow sluffs in steep terrain on a north aspect.
I did not experience any collapsing or cracking of the snow and main hazards continued to be low snow coverage and buried obstacles. Travel was easy on supportive crust and cold low density snow on the surface.
Given the 1-3 inches of SWE predicted Saturday-Tuesday, heavy winds, the slick crust on all aspects above 7000’ in this area, conditions will change rapidly and I will continue to stay out of avalanche terrain until the storm settles and overall coverage improves.