Temperatures last night remained well above freezing even at upper elevations. Radiative cooling may have led to a weak refreeze but expect surface snow to moisten quickly this morning. Remember LOW danger does not mean NO danger, isolated instabilities still exist, and variable surface conditions are exasperating the risk already posed by the EXTREMELY low coverage. Small panels of wind slab on shaded slopes in the alpine are feasible and with sunny skies and temperatures remaining well above normal today don’t be surprised to see some rollerball activity and a weak unconsolidated and wet snowpack on more solar aspects. Variable and challenging surface conditions and the extremely thin coverage are also worth considering today. Our snowpack is in transition at the moment and backcountry enthusiasts could find a wide variety of surface conditions today. Sticky wet snow may exist in sheltered trees, unconsolidated punchy wet snow on shallow solar aspects, sun-warmed wind board, slick and firm wind affected surfaces on shaded slopes in the alpine, unsupportable faceted snow in more shaded areas near treeline, and breakable surface crusts on a variety of aspects and elevations.
The conditions in the backcountry deserve a serious conversation about risk vs reward at the moment. The obstacle-ridden landscape remains the biggest hazard to backcountry enthusiasts, be aware of your exposure, and keep in mind that even an otherwise innocuous fall could have more severe consequences with our extremely shallow coverage.