Overall thin conditions at 5500’. South aspects were bare and north facing terrain had a pesky at-times-breakable crust. Not much new snow in this area with 2-5 inches above the crust and weak sugary snow below. Doing a quick hand shear it failed on isolation below the crust on a north aspect at 5800’.
Terrain up higher was wind affected, still thin, and you could see refrigerator sized debris from an avalanche from a few weeks ago on a NW/W aspect in a gully.
Dug a quick pit on a due north aspect at 7600’ near our drop in point. I was surprised to find only 80 cms of total snow. A few inches of new snow on top of a solid crust with weak sugary snow and another thinner crust and weak snow to the ground. I figured it must have been a windy spot or where an old avalanche released, but this was not the case. The snowpack in this area remained extremely thin for the end of February and we reverted to-early season be mindful of lumps defensive skiing at times as well as enjoyable turns.
We initiated loose snow sluffs nearly with every turn even as far down as 5700’ on steeper terrain. We were extremely mindful of small terrain traps and the seemingly harmless snow sluffs. The cold temperatures have weakened this snow and there is a poor bond with the ever present crust. I did not like this setup with additional snowfall forecasted for next week. The warm temperatures should help, but I would anticipate lots of activity and will be dialing back the terrain with additional snowfall.
Challenging ski conditions down lower with a sometimes breakable crust and log maze. Low angle sheltered terrain above 6500’ held best riding conditions.