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Went to the Continental Divide to check on current conditions before northerly winds increase, and to check on the snowpack at upper elevations. Snow line varies with aspect and how close you are to the Divide.
Below 5,500 feet we used ski crampons to ascend a hard melt-freeze crust.
Between 5,500 and 6,500 feet, we used them because the 2-4 inches of recent snow was low-density and not sticking well to an underlying crust.
Above 6,500 feet we found 5-7 inches of loose, and wind-affected recent snow above an older crust - ski crampons still useful. Recent drifts from southwest winds were only about 4 inches thick, soft, and we got minimal cracking around our skis.
We skied boot-top powder on steep northwest facing terrain with no sluffing, and no signs of instability.
On the Continental Divide to 7300 ft
Forecast Hotline: 406.257.8402
Call or text an observation: 406.66AVYOB