Recent wind had not created a wind slab problem where I traveled, but I'd be looking for it in areas with a little more snow or more exposure to the wind. Warm temperatures and sun raised the possibility for small human-triggered wet snow problems, though I did not observe any natural wet sluffing.
Mostly calm with occasional light winds out of the NW. Much warmer than previous days. A few streaks of high stratus clouds around, but these did nothing to limit solar input. Snow since 2/14: 2-3cm cm at highway level, 5-10 cm at upper elevation.
No recent avalanches observed.
Primary goals were to see how much the wind speed increase at Upper Vienna and Upper Titus weather stations was moving snow, see how much the warmer temperatures were affecting the snow, and look at surface/near-surface conditions.
Wind: I saw some evidence of recent wind drifting in upper elevation terrain, but less than I expected based on the recorded wind speeds. There were isoft, solated drifts up to 40cm deep right along ridge lines and thin, soft slabs extended 100-200' below ridgelines but these were unreactive. I spent a while glassing terrain above the headwaters-frenchman-smiley-beaver area and could not find any slabs that had failed.
Warm/wet: It was noticeably warmer than the past week. Snow surface on solars began to warm up and melt by late in the morning. I was able to trigger some very small wet sluffs on steep solars around noon. The snow was still dry enough that most of these did not pick up much speed or entrain much debris, hard to even call them D1. I suspect this problem continued to get worse through the afternoon but I wasn't interested in hanging out to find out.
Surface/near-surface conditions: Its a real mixed bag out there. I was curious to see how solar margins were behaving, as we are in prime-time near-surface facet+crust formation in our neck of the woods. I poked around on E/SE at lower and middle elevations and found a pretty ugly crust+facet sandwich underlying 5+cm of rapidly faceting new snow. The lower crust was likely the V-day crust (5+cm thick, 1F to P hard) and the upper crust looked like a radiation recrystallization crust that formed on cold, sunny days (2-3cm thick, 4F hard). In between were 2-3 cm of small, F- FCsf. Below the V-day crust was a stack of 2-3mm facets that were already starting to cup and chain together. yuck. As you wrap around to shadier aspects the crusts disappear and you are left with just stacks of cohesionless facets underlying the bit of new snow that fell in the past 2 weeks. On more direct solars the V-day crust is stout and ski supportable and the upper crust is much less distinct. There is a good bit of faceting going on above and below the crusts in these locations as well. There is also a widespread layer of 1-2mm SH on the surface at middle and upper elevations (much less pronounced down lower). Crystal habit is somewhere between tabular and acicular. All in all it is a pretty ugly base for the next time we get significant snowfall. Today's sun and somewhat warmer temperatures did not feel like they were doing a ton to change the equation on solars, but hard to say without looking at the snow after it refreezes. I suspect there is a bit less snow available for transport with the forecasted SWerly winds than there was the day before.
I did not directly encounter any avalanche problems today. Wet loose problems likely got worse with additional solar radiation input after I stopped traveling in solar terrain.
I felt comfortable traveling with assessment + open season mindset (it's always assessment+ for me). I would have avoided large, fresh wind drifts/slabs but I did not encounter any. I elected to stop traveling in terrain getting direct sunshine in the afternoon.