The entire snowpack seems to have every problem in the book; likely the next loading event will produce a large cycle, but my concerns remain in the glades that may not avalanche naturally but might tempt skiers and harbor patchy and unpredictable SH (found in up to 8000' on N and some W aspects).
Clear, sunny skies in the AM lead to mid-morning scattered skies. The later afternoon cleared; calm winds and warm temps.
Noted no recent avalanche activity in this area or in viewable paths along Lowman. Peaking towards the N off of the first Copper summit, wouldn't be surprised if smaller pockets of hard wind slab were presently unstable; it appeared people had skied to the N.
Pit dug at Banner SNOTEL; extensive faceting throughout the pack with more mature facets present above and below melt-freeze and rain crusts from mid November dry spells. New SH growth along with buried SH down 6cm (ECTN2); SH preserved in skiable glades and low angle terrain surrounding standard W ridge approach up Copper.
Rain crust still apparent up to ~8000' (ECTN22 down 30cm). Due solar aspects cooked and warmer temps/lack of wind made for punchy unsupportable skiing. Upper terrain of N summit nearly bare with exposed rock and sage. Best skiing was found on N aspects in trees untouched by sun, and conversely in the upper elevation S aspects on compacted wind slab with no underlying weaknesses that skied supportably and softly due to warmer temps. Further S summit skied better and has maintained better coverage!
Avoided terrain where any recent weather might have caused slab formation atop older snow, either via warming temps or via wind on upper elevation, cooler aspects.