1130-1330 wx obs: Skies overcast to obscured. Winds calm. Rainline between 8,300-8,500'. Snowing S-1 above, slight rain/sleet/drizzle below. 5cm new snow since early morning 2/28 above rain line.
No recent avalanches observed.
This was a short tour with a visiting Pro 2 class. My objectives were to assist with the class and to look at a few issues in the snowpack (amount of melting due to rain-on-snow and warm temps, presence/amount of wind transport, character/progress of budding persistent slab problem.
Wet stuff: when we left the vehicles (1130) there was a stout, intact crust on direct solars with 1 cm of moist-wet snow on top. It was lightly snowing at 8,200' at this point. When we returned (1330) the snow on the surface had become very wet, with water visible to the naked eye. Suction cup skiing, fun :) The crusts in the snowpack were breaking down, but were still reliably supportable on direct solars. On solar margins and in tree shadows the crusts were variably supportable and the facets underneath were getting progressively wetter. We didn't directly encounter a wet problem, but were trending in that direction.
Wind: we did not find much evidence of wind transport stretching down into the middle elevation terrain we traveled through. I was interested in this because the upper snowpack buried weak layers (see below) are best developed and most continuous at lower and middle elevations - at upper elevations, strong winds earlier in February have made the surfaces somewhat more friendly.
Persistent problem: Weak layers that formed during the January drought and periodic light snowfall in February are buried here. This weak snow is at its worst on solar margins (where multiple MFcr+FCsf sandwiches exist), a close second on shaded slopes (where it presents as a well-developed facet stack on top of a stiff, settled slab). We found that the slab overlying this weak snow was 20 cm thick. I did not receive propagating snowpack test scores and did not notice obvious cracking involving this interface, but the structure is developing. This will be a problem to watch as more snowfall accumulates.
Was concerned with wet snow issues and wind slabs. Did not enter any terrain where these could be characterized as a problem, but I suspect you could have found both if you went looking for it, particularly later in the day.