Headed up Mill D today to ski the bed surface of the Reynolds Peak slide that occurred around Christmas. I had been there recently and knew that the bed surface was hard and not faceted and with only 6 or 10 inches of medium density snow on top and no weak snow underlying it decided it would be a reasonable decision. There was a rain crust of varying thicknesses from the Spruces lot all the way up to 9,000ft, the snow below 8,000ft seemed to be completely locked up from the rain, around 9,000ft it was more fragile and it was capping off the faceted snow pack underlying it, which would probably allow someone to get out on the slope and maybe even get skied by multiple people before someone hit the sweet spot. Not much of a player right now seeing that there is only 6 or so inches of new snow sitting on it but may be a player in the future. The due N facing of Reynolds was much more supportable than what I was seeing on the PC Ridgeline yesterday but the bottomless facets under the new are still there and not going away anytime soon. Skiing old bed surfaces takes allot of knowledge of slope history, there are some bed surfaces from the Christmas cycle that I would avoid like the plague and unless you know exactly whats under the new snow I wouldn't recommend it. We did not experience any cracking or collapsing today but most of our time was spent below 9400ft and the frozen rain crust was not collapsing.
Photo: rain crust at 8700ft, with 5 inches of new on top of it.
Considerable seems like the right call for now and the near future, persistent slab problems don't settle out or go away quickly, I'm not ready to trust any steep mid or high elevation slopes on the N end of the compass right now, Reynolds was the one exception slide that when it slide it basically went to the dirt and cleaned out the weak snow, most of the slides I,ve seen in this cycle are NOT cleaning the weak layer out and will be suspect when they get more snow.