Primarily concerned with new snow issues, but still have lingering concerns about persistent slab problems in large, open terrain at upper elevation, particularly on slopes that face the sun.
Cloud cover increasing from clear in the morning to BKN/OVC in the mountains in the afternoon. A few S-1 flurries in the afternoon with no accumulation. Varaible winds blowing light to moderate with occasional, brief strong periods. Tough to get a precise sense on direction.
Intentionaly triggered several D1s in very steep terrain. Slabs were small but they entrained a good amount of debris due to the terrain. Also observed a number of fresh D1 piles beneath cliff bands, these must have run overnight sometime.
Fresh slabs were thin, but touchy. Encountered slabs up to 20-25 cm thick that were reactive to the weight of a skier on both solar and shaded aspects. These slabs were fairly disconnected but could become more problematic with another shot of new snow and wind tomorrow. Wind was blowing moderate with periods of strong gusts, continuing to build slabs until my exit from the field at 1700. Low elevation and sheltered middle elevation slopes facing the sun melted a bit, upper elevations stayed cold.
Upper elevation solars were holding a ski and boot supportable crust underneath the new snow throughout the day. Overlying snow is poorly bonded to this crust. At middle elevations, the underlying snow had not refrozen well, and boot pen was quite deep if you got through the crust. Lower elevations had a ski supportable crust in the morning but had softened to isothermal mush by the end of the day. Shaded slopes at middle and upper elevations have recently buried facets underneath the new snow, but snowpack is generally strong underneath these. At lower elevations there wasn't enough new snow to get a good sense for how well bonded the new snow was.
Was primarily concerned with new snow issues: small, isolated wind slabs in very steep terrain and dry loose sluffing. Persistent slab problems are still affecting my travel in this area, particularly in big, open terrain on solars.
Felt comfortable entering steep, confined terrain while paying close attention to new snow issues.