We booted up to a high point at 5500 feet, then dug a pit to satisfy our curiosity before descending.
Jan. 21, 2017, 1:30 p.m. PST
Weather: Broken clouds with occasional sunny breaks, light snow flurries. Temperatures around freezing. No wind.
Snowpack: We dug a pit on a 30' NE facing slope. We observed a 15cm soft slab, that was reactive at blow 7 of ECT, with very poor shear quality (the layer fell apart more than slide off of the snow below) then consolidated storm snow down to a depth of 60cm, where there was a 3-5cm layer of hard frozen snow that we took to be the 17th rain crust. His layer seemed to be well bonded to the more recent snow and was not reactive to our tests.
Area Description: Above chair 8, outside of the mount baker ski area. 4900' -5500'
Avalanches: There was a small avalanche on a steeper NNE slope at 5500'. It appeared to have had several ski trigger points and shallow crown (we estimated 6") so it was in the soft slab on top. Several other slides with shallow-looking crowns were visible in the area.
Observation by Douglas Ray
Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an Avalanche? No