In speaking with the observer it became appearent that new snow totals below 3000’ were difficult to judge as old, sugary snow made the new snow feel deeper than it actually was.
The combination of old, unconsolidated snow and the new snow made for a total of 8-10” of low density “powder”.
Also of note is the old, sugary snow at mid elevation was capped by wind slabs on the leeward aspects of terrain features and produced localized cracking, less than 10’. Audible whunphing was present, due to the weak, unconsolidtaed nature of the old snow, with stiffer fresh wind slabs on top.
This party did not ascend above 3500’.
These bulls eye clues point to an unstable wind slab problem sitting on persistent grains that will need more time to adjust and stabilize.