Route & General Observations
Toured from Independence Mine parking lot to Gold Cord. Dug a pit on Cross Hill with interesting results. Stomped on lots of test slopes, with no signs of instability.
No red flags observed.
9 AM - Clear sky, ~30 degrees, light wind from the N.
12 PM - Clear sky, ~35 degrees, calm. Felt like spring!
Variable. The surface was mostly either breakable crust with facets beneath, or faceted snow with a thin, wind scoured crust. Faceted areas were often bottomless feeling. Some "orange peel" recycled powder. Although we found wind slabs, they were isolated and more challenging to find than we expected. Everything seems to have faceted out dramatically. That being said, I am sure you could find wind slabs higher up as noted in the HPAC forecast.
Dug a pit on the S aspect of Cross Hill. ~4000 ft elevation, 29 degree slope, poor structure, P hard slab sitting on a crust, over F hard well developed facets. CT4 down 40 cm on F hard 3mm facets, ECTP11 & 12 SP down 40 cm on F hard 3mm facets, PST 60/100 END down 40 cm on F hard 3mm facets. Note that the snowpack is extremely spatially variable, and despite these troubling test results, the slab ended a mere 15 feet away in any direction. This was the most pronounced wind slab we found. At the ground we found P hard cupped, 3 dimensional depth hoar ranging in size from 3-9 mm.