Pit dug at 2200', SE aspect, 20 degree slope at treeline. Height of Snow = 200cm
20" of new snow (F -> 4 finger) sat over large 10mm surface hoar and ~6" of 4 finger facets that formed last week.
While the surface hoar is an easy to identify layer visually, it didn't react in shovel tilt tests. An Extended Column Test didn't propagate, but the recently buried facets failed under the shovel blade after 23 taps with a Q3/rough break fracture character. (ECTN 23 BRK 50cm down in the Dec. 20-24 SH/NSF combo)
Hand pits would fail under easy to moderate pressure, with the same break fracture characteristic observed in the ECT.