Wind slabs left throughout the eastern Sierra from Wednesday’s wind event were stubborn, though not impossible to trigger. One skier caused a small avalanche yesterday morning on a convex slope near Crystal Lake on the Mammoth Crest. Light showers midday yesterday dusted the forecast area at middle and upper elevations. Strong Southwest winds may have transported some of that snow onto high North-easterly facing slopes creating very small and dense wind crusts. The warm temperatures and relatively high humidity have promoted settlement in the recent storm snow. All of this together will add a little more weight, and slightly denser slabs on top of the persistent weak layers buried on cooler northerly slopes. These layers of poorly bonded, sugary facet snow still exist near crusts and denser layers and can be found around 30-45cm and 65cm down in the snowpack. In some areas, where the overall snow depth is thinner, large facet crystals can still be found near the ground. Tests yesterday showed that the potential for failure in these layers has not gone away. Whumphs under your feet are a sign of collapse in one of these weak layers. Digging down and doing some extra detective work can tell you if these layers are likely to fail on the slopes you want to ride.
Warm temperatures today will likely cause some moist snow, roller ball activity, and melting below ~9,000’ and on sunny aspects.