Mt Cline area
Tried to approach N ridge Mt Cline yesterday with a friend. Turned around by more snow than we expected (given the typically drier area and low precip readings from valley bottom weather stations). Good dry travel near valley bottom gave way to 15cm of cold fresh snow at treeline, drifted up to 70deep over a rough, 3cm crust from last week's high pressure. (30-40cm snowpack around treeline).This crust was supportive if you hunted out steep solar aspects - and invited crampons where blown bare - but unsupportive on flatter or shaded ground, making for very slow travel as we punched into the facets below. The windloaded pockets we travelled through were unreactive, and we only saw evidence of a few small previous avalanches; but with evidence of lots of previous wind transport from the South, we were avoiding any slopes of consequence, and didn't travel on lee slopes. The slope down to the glacier below Clines East Face, and the approach slopes to the North Ridge wpuld have felt very aggressive for the conditions. Seeing we were there anyway, we scrambled the SW ridge of lioness which was largely blown dry (the odd windslab pocket or cornice still needed avoiding). Crampons and axe were very useful for the verglassed scree and hard snow patches encountered. With moderate wind transport at times from gusty westerly winds, we also watched several small cornice failures cascading down cliffs.
There were a few sections of water ice around but nothing we would walk all the way there for.