-Hiked up McGee creek from the summer trailhead to about 9300' (~4mi), where there was adequate coverage to skin and ski up to Red and White Mtn. Trail had lots of ice patches before it was covered with snow.
-Calm winds, with some light variable gusts. At 12,600' at noon at ridetop light southerly winds.
-6:30am at trailhead (7820'), air temp = 0 deg C; 8:30am at 9,300', air temp = -2deg C; Noon, 12,600', air temp = 0 deg C.
-Booting up E aspect between 11-12 above 11,000' was very variable with some areas of crampons just biting in, with other areas typically more near rocks of boot top penetration in moist snow. Skiing down SE aspect at noon was a touch late. Some small rollerballs and small loose wet sloughs as a result of turns. An hour earlier would have been better. Quite moist transitional snow ontop of crust, and E facing was begining to refreeze slightly at surface. E, SE aspects not corn yet up here. (see attached pic for coverage)
Dug a test pit at 11,300', WNW aspect, 33 deg slope. 165cm total snow depth, dug 1m deep. A 5cm thick facet layer ~75cm down was the layer of greatest concern, not that it was concerning for today's stability. CT tests failed with extended hard taps past the normal 30 limit. ECT tests did not fail or propagate. Propogation Saw test did fail cleanly at only 37cm/100cm at the top of this facet layer. CT tests did fail consistently under a firm wind crust ~10cm down with 23-25 taps, Q2.
No signs of instability today anywhere.
Of note, some NW facing slopes had solid hard ice caps just below their ridgelines left over from last winter ... wouldn't one step on one with or without skis accidentally.
*Baldwin's upper reaches appeared to have good coverage, but lower portions below 9300' didn't look skiable (see attached pic). Aggie was not in at all. S and SE aspects of McGee looked like mid-august (no snow). Wineglass couloir (see attached pic) was the only thing during the first half of the approach that looked worth-while, with a snowline down to ~8800'. (But word is the creek crossing to get these is quite challenging.) Lots of skiable terrain on all aspects above 10,000' in the Big McGee Lake vicinity.