Another very warm day coupled with a weak freeze the previous night brought an increasing threat of wet loose avalanches as the day warmed.
Winds were calm in the SW bowl until I hit the ridgeline around 10,500, then blowing steady at the upper end of moderate/lower end of strong out of the N/NW. There was a trace of new snow visible as I drove over the pass. Temps started out warm and only got warmer through the day.
In the morning, I observed a handful of D1-1.5 loose wet slides on the steep SW-facing hill across from the ranger station. These must have happened sometime yesterday (Wednesday 2/9). I observed some fresh, very small wet dribblers along the pass on my drive back north. I also observed some small wet sluffs at ~9,000' above Gladiator Creek. Also some D1 dribbles on S/SE terrain on Parks Peak at 9,300'. Also, a D1.5 on the S face of Williams that originated around 10,000'. I'm not sure on the timing of these last three, could have been today, could have been within the past few days. I also saw fresh roofalanches near Smiley Creek and Obsidian that likely happened yesterday.
A crust had formed on all aspects up to about 7,500 or 8,000'. It was refrozen in most areas when I started my tour at 10:30, but had not frozen in areas with larger trees. This crust quickly broke down with the influence of the sun and with warming temperatures. As I skinned up the SW bowl, I found that the crust was quickly breaking down, allowing for pretty easy travel without ski crampons up to 9,500' (~12:00). As this crust broke down I found it was pretty easy to jam my pole through it in many places, revealing an ugly pile of moistening facets beneath. As the string of warm days and weak freezes continues I can imagine some larger, gouging wet loose happening, even in the wind-whacked alpine of the Boulders. I continued to the top and skied down around 13:00, finding pretty decent corn skiing down to about 8,500', as long as you could stay on steep solars. Below 8,500 I started to experience some ugly trapdooring, falling into the moistening facets underneath. A bit of an April vibe in February. Any portion of the groomed track that was getting sun was moist and sticky. I was happy to be out of the field early, and assume that things just got uglier up there.
Wet loose would have been a very real problem today, particularly on lower and middle elevation solars. I avoided the worst of the problem by leaving the field early.
Open season start to the day, stepping way back as temps warmed.