The storm has started and the likelihood of encountering avalanches will increase through the foreseeable future. Its a good time to take a big step back and watch the show.
Light winds gusting moderate out of the SW. S1 snowfall throughout the duration of this short afternoon tour.
I focused my attention on the new snow and did not do any digging into older snow. 15-20 cm of new snow at the end of the day. This snow that fell was light and had no particularly obvious density changes (yet). The wind had formed some very soft drifts along ridgelines that were stubborn to unreactive. I did get a few drifts to crack (see attached photo) but I had to find the thickest, most wind loaded locations to accomplish this. As these drifts grow with continued snow and wind they will become larger and more sensitive. Gradually warming temperatures are likely to exacerbate this problem. The combination of more new snow, wind, and warming temperatures may also start to light up our budding persistent problem on shaded slopes. It feels like it is more of a matter of when, not if.
Did not encounter a wind slab problem today. Dry loose would have been a problem on slopes steeper than about 40 degrees.
Preparing to take a large step back. Today was likely the last day where you could walk through the mountains with some degree of impunity. Tomorrow (and the foreseeable future) will be different.