Started at the Mill D North trailhead and followed it to Dog lake continuing to the top of Reynolds peak. Ski cut the east facing ridge to the lower end, and then descending both pitches to the flats. Traversed around to Big Water continuing to the east ridge and following it to the lower corner descending to the Big Water trail. Ascended Big Water continuing to the top of Soldier Fork traversing to the low point in the ridge just south of Soldier Fork and descending the northwest facing into the Wilson chutes drainage. Ascended the drainage traversing to the south and ascending the east facing to the east ridge of Wilson glade traversing across under the pines to the west and the shoulder of the west ridge. Descended Wilson Glade to the flats traversing to the east and the ridge of the Bonus or Depth Hoar bowl descending to the flats and continuing out to the Millcreek road.
Mostly cloudy with some views of the sun to the north late in the day. Mild temperatures. Windy along the ridges with gusts on Reynolds around 30mph. Some gusty winds down in the drainages from time to time but mostly light wind off the ridges. Winds were from the south and south east.
About 12 to 14 inches of snow total for the last few days with an inch or two ovenight. The most recent snow was invert4d with a good deal of graupel. Snow along the ridges was heavily damaged with scouring down to old crusts and beyond. Interesting to walk up Reynolds because the wind had eroded the common cornice line from the prevailing westerlies to non existent. There was a bit of load along the upper ridge north facing and teasing a bit produced a collapse the only one all day. The lad wasn’t evident off the ridge and we found little drifting out of the wind, with the runouts having inverted and cakey snow from the warmer temps and wind and most recent snow. There was no cracking. Ski cutting produced little activity and cornice kicking where found (Soldier Fork ridge) indicated the snow was stiff but would break easily if determined and those were quite large, refrigerator sized +. Those produced nothing beyond a bit of sluffing in the new snow.
No natural avalanches were observed.
Snow was for the most part stable in areas traveled. While the steepest lines were not chosen, there was little indication of instability beyond some large wind drifts in some odd spots because of the direction of the wind. It appears that with the warm temperatures and strong winds at times that much of the wind blown snow has sublimated. Little indication of instability with one collapse along the ridge and only isolated cracking when stumbling into one of the drifts scattered about. No natural activity observed. Would expect the hazard to be localized to the steepest terrain but it appeared the winds were drifting snow onto west rather the east facing.
Pictures from the day
Photo on the left is Paul Kimbrough skiing Anchors Away.
On the right is Paul skiing Fred's Birthday chute
On the left is another close up of Paul on Anchors Away.
On the right is the start of skinning up to Wilson peak.