The recent storm added enough new snow to open up a few more areas in the backcountry for skiers and riders. It is a good news/bad news situation. The snowpack in alpine terrain on east and northeast facing slopes is spooky- poles can disappear during probing, the weak sugary facet alyer is thicker than the recent storm snow and a recent large avalanche is direct evidence that the snow structure and steep terrain is still capable of producing a human triggered avalanche.
Prior to this most recent storm, the facet layer in the Red Cone area was not as thick or widespread. The situation in the steep rocky east and northest facing terrain iin Hammil Bowl is different. One explanation is that the shaded high elevation slopes in Hammil Bowl had October snow that turned to facets and persisted for the long dry months of November, December and January. The little storms that fell in November and December added to the October facet layer until snow came at the end of January and last week. We have neve seen a facet layer this thick in this part of the Sierra.
Warming temperatures, longer days and increasing solar radiation as spring approaches will contribute to stabilizing the snowpack. For now, give steep shaded slopes some more time to stabilize.