Quick ride up to Seattle Ridge and into -3 Bowl. Flat light turned us around but we got some beacon practice in, along with a couple snow pits while waiting out the low viz on the ridge.
Obscured skies, temps in the teens and calm winds.
Small surface hoar on surface, 2-5mm along ridge 2,000-3,000' elevation. Under this was generally 2-3" of small near surface facets, loose snow, fist hard.
1-3' hard slab (Fist hardness on top quickly transitioning to pencil hardness) on the Near Year's buried surface hoar (BSH). We dug two pits close to each other at 3,000' on a NW aspect: Did not investigate further than the BSH layer of concern.
Pit 1 on 35 deg wind loaded slope (HS 220cm): BSH was 3' deep. ECTX, had to stomp on the column to get it to fail, but once it did it propagated then slid easily into pit.
Pit 2 on 25 degree slope (HS 170cm): BSH was 20" deep. ECTP 22 sudden collapse - see video. Hard to trigger but slides easily once it fails.
*We dug in this area on Jan 7th, 2 days ago. ECT tests were very similar with a ECTP 19 and 22 on that day on the same BSH layer.