Ideal conditions for building new wind slabs include lots of soft snow available to blow around and steady moderate winds. While the new snow yesterday was more than enough to create large uniform slabs, the winds were strong and gusty making deposition more erratic. Wind slabs sensitive to a skier’s weight did form yesterday, but the distribution of those slabs was less widespread and more specific to ideal terrain features that promote drifting. Recently, wind slabs have been observed to fail on top of soft storm snow and to slide on hard, crusty, or board-like surfaces. In some more sheltered locations weak faceted snow has been found in the upper snowpack. Sugary facet snow often acts as the weak layer in avalanche failure, but it is unlikely that new wind slabs will lie directly over these layers. However, if a wind slab avalanche originating in alpine terrain were to run down to near treeline it could trigger these deeper weaknesses and cause an even larger slide.
Continue to be aware of obstacles hidden just under the snow surface and of wind scoured surfaces that may cause slide-for-life conditions increasing the consequences of a fall in steep terrain.