In the deeper snowpack of this area, weak layers such as the 12/7 surface hoar and 11/26 depth hoar are becoming quite deeply buried (3 feet or more). Midpack weak layers such as 12/31 are subtle and not very reactive. If there wasn't an incoming storm, I would start to feel pretty good about the snowpack in this area. There is a lot of uncertainty about how the snowpack in our deeper areas will react to the slow but steady loading over the next several days.
Day began partly cloudy but clouds quickly increased around noon. Temps felt like they never got out of the single digits up high. Pretty steady MOD wind at ridge level and some light winds at mid elevation. Some snow being transported - it was getting stripped from previous loaded south aspects.
Went looking for the 12/31 layer and didn't find much that was very concerning. At mid elevations (8000-8500), especially on solars, 12/31 presented as the top of a previously thin/weak snowpack. I got one ECTP26 but several other tests produced no results. I didn't find the 12/7 surface hoar on either a SE or a NE aspect in this elevation band.
At upper elevations, the snowpack in this area is getting deeper (120-150cm+) and is showing signs of improvement. The 12/7 SH is generally 100cm deep or more, and has thinned noticeably. The basal depth hoar is 100-130cm deep. I couldn't find any layer of significance at the 12/31 interface.
The depth of snow on the 12/31 interface ranged from 50-65cm, which was more than I expected. I noted a few shears within the snow since New Year's, and I got on ECTP4 down 30cm, but these shears were inconsistent.
Layer Depth/Date: 100cm - 12/7, 100-130cm - 11/26
Didn't feel like the 12/31 layer was reactive enough to call it an avalanche problem. Saw a bit of fresh wind loading, but nothing seemed reactive.
Stayed under low 30s, mostly due to solo travel.