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Tour of Grey Butte saw 9 to 14 inches of new snow since Wednesday. This new snow sits on top of a two-inch thick melt freeze crust from warm temperature and possibly rain from Wednesday, Feb 14th. The ski pen was 3 to 10 inches with areas of supportable wind board on the ridge.
Wind gusts were strong enough to move trees on the ridgeline. The constant moderate to strong north-west wind was actively loading southern aspects.
A small test slope saw shooting cracks that arrest on lower angle terrain on SE aspect (see picture).
The surface snow was changing fast especial on solar aspects. A thin zipper sun crust on open southern aspects near and below treeline formed this afternoon.
Test pit was dug on NE aspect of Grey Butte below and to skiers right of the weather station.
Skiing on west aspect was variable with pockets of soft powder in the trees and wind affected snow in open areas.
There were mostly sunny conditions on Gray Butte this afternoon. Moderate to strong NW wind began to pick up in the afternoon blowing wispy clouds with pockets of blue sky behind. Temperatures tended to rise in the afternoon especially below 6,000 feet although they stayed well below freezing at 8,000 feet.