Today we toured in the lower Crystal Amphitheater zone. Skies were overcast, trending towards broken as we were leaving around noon. Temperatures were relatively warm. We measured an air temperature of 28 degrees Fahrenheit at 5400 ft at 11 am. Winds were light to moderate out of the southwest.
We travelled on southerly and easterly slopes between 4800 ft and 6200 ft. On these slopes we found isolated signs of instability. Whumpfing and collapsing was more prevalent on flatter slopes and more shaded easterly slopes above 5500 ft. We dug a snowpit on a SE aspect at 5400 ft and found 2.5 ft of snow. The top 18 inches consisted of decomposing snow grains from recent snowfall. Below that, there were 12 inches of variable melt freeze crusts and facets. Stability tests did not produce any significant results. See pit profile for more details. On more exposed sub ridges with fewer trees, we found wind effected snow surfaces including sastrugi, wind skins, and wind board. Signs of wind slab instability were stubborn but a small, east facing, wind loaded test slope produced cracking 6" deep when jumped on.