Spent the past two days teaching an AIARE 1 Course for the Wallowa Avalanche Center. We traveled to 8,000' on S Ridge and 7,500' on Phat ridge. In our snowpits, we found a cohesive, right side up snowpack. There was 30cm (1') of new snow from the past few days, which was bonding well to the old snow beneath it. The new snow was staying light and fluffy, and was not forming into a slab in the locations we observed. At our high point on S Ridge, the wind was light, with moderate gusts from the SW.
With the forecasted new snow totaling over 1' today and tomorrow in the Northern Wallowas I expect the stability will decrease and we will start to see storm slabs failing and wind slabs as well. Winds are forecasted to increase into the teens, which is the prime value for wind loading. Anytime we add a significant new load, we test the poor snowpack structure down at the base of our snowpack.