It sounds, based upon multiple reports from different locations, like this is a widespread condition in the mountain west right now. IIRC the set up for this is heavy snow on warm ground producing depth hoar after metamorphosis near the ground. When a season begins this way it often means killer avalanches all season. They can sit there for half or all of the season waiting for a trigger.
Comments from anyone who actually knows what they are talking about?
I'll refrain from naming names since it got me in trouble last time.