Winds were moderate to strong at treeline on Dec. 21 and 22. The amount of powder snow available for building new wind slabs may be nearly depleted, and observations today found no reactive wind slabs. But backcountry users should be aware that reactive wind slabs may exist in isolated slopes near/above treeline. It's been 11 days since the last precipitation event and the shallow early season snowpack has limited field investigations. If you have observations then please consider submitting them here
Currently, most good backcountry skiing and riding opportunities are generally limited to isolated and sheltered terrain below treeline. You may find soft snow for nice turns in the 11,000' to 10,000' range, but it may include log/rock strikes and will require thin and hazardous approaches/egresses.
To date, the peaks have received 38" of snow, much of which has melted, been redistributed, or sublimated since falling. Backcountry travel is hampered by the lack of snow and lurking hazards on most slopes. Rocks, logs and even bare ground may be present.
Now is a good time to practice avalanche rescue drills with your partners.
Watch for isolated wind slabs on leeward slopes and crossloaded gullies/chutes. Northerly slopes will have faceted snow at the base of the snowpack, which may be a concern when new significant snow arrives. Many avalanche starting zones have been wind scoured. Where there is snow, the conditions are highly variable.
Avalanches are unlikely below treeline. The snowpack continues to be too shallow for carefree touring; rock and tree hazards are abundant.