We went for a tour up Connaught Creek today to shake off the cobwebs. We skinned up to Balu Pass, then continued up the ridge towards 8812 Pk. The hiking trail is still in excellent condition for this time of year, with no rocks showing and you can ski all the way to the Visitors centre. Given how well filled in the hiking trail was, we were surprised to see so many rocks showing in the alpine. The recent cold temperatures and northerly winds have resulted in lots of facetting all the way through the snowpack, so it's quite easy to sink through the surface snow and hit rocks on skis. When we weren't able to skin any further up Balu Ridge, we put boot crampons on (mostly for the rock scrambling) and started scrambling up the ridge. The snow was not consolidated enough for boot-packing and we often punched through to the ground (up to 1m deep). Due to personal time constraints and the unpleasant post-holing, we quickly decided to turn around. It is worth noting that the snowpack is much more facetted than this time last year and 2013 when I've climbed this route before. Skiing back down 8812 bowl was facetted surface snow all the way to the car, it skied pretty well.
We observed some old windslabs in the alpine that were facetting out. Although they didn't concern us on our route today, I could imagine places were they might be sitting on facets and be a concern. We had no other avalanche concerns today.
Enjoy the beautiful weather we have at the moment!