Started from the Manitoba parking lot at 11:00 am. 32° and storming hard, but the clouds moved out quickly and we had unexpected blue sky and sunshine most of the day. Light flurries in and out, and some dark clouds building to the south, not a breath of wind until we got up on the ridge line.
At least 30 cm of ski penetration, had to put the dog back in the car after one meadow lap because it was too dang deep for her. Snowpack probed 130 cm deep at 1300 ft elevation (by highway), probed 135 cm deep at 1700 ft (in the meadows), probed 115 cm deep at 1800 ft (on the bench under the power line). When probing at 1800 ft, also felt a whole bunch of variability and crusts, hoping to go back tomorrow and dig a pit to check it out. No formal stability tests, but stomping around on isolated steep bits we were able to grudgingly pop out the top layer of fresh snow. Some cracking along the skin track.
At 2200 ft elevation (ridge line), noted significant wind effect. At 2300 ft elevation, felt very hollow, a couple of whumpfs and a lot more cracking along the skin track. Informal tests showing a wind slab about a foot thick with bottomless facets below. At 2400 ft elevation, probed 145 cm deep.
Very cautious coming down one of the gullies on the north face, and pleasantly surprised by how good the snow was. No red flags on the way down. Back at the highway at 2:00 pm.