We ¬toured around in the Gash Creek drainage today sticking to lower angle terrain below the bowls. The warm part of the last storm left a stout yet breakable rain crust from the trailhead to about 5300’, where it transitioned to a noticeably denser layer of snow sitting under a few inches of dry powder. The height of snow on southern aspects up to 6600’ varied from ~30cm to ~130cm. In the thinnest areas, we found some basal facets where isolated hand shears failed with moderate force, but we didn’t notice any whumping or collapsing.
The winds over the last few days have moved a lot of snow around at mid elevations with ridges etched and various lobes of pencil hard wind boards in the lee, but protected powder in the gullies. I stomped on a few wind loaded test slopes, but didn’t get any movement or cracking. The higher elevation north through east terrain had the pillowy texture of wind drifted snow, including the Main Bowl, and some moderately sized cornices.
We didn’t see any avalanches or significant signs of instability, but I expect between the density changes and wind deposits, that could be a different story in higher steeper terrain.
It was a clear, calm, and surprisingly warm day tipping above freezing at 5800’ by 11am. Despite the temps and sun, the southern aspects were still dry on our ski out around 1pm.