Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Archangel, IM, Gold Bullion

Date:
Observer:
Route & General Observations

IMB>Archangel>IM>HP propper>Gold Bullion

Avalanche Details
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Observer Comments

Old HS-N-R1D1-O near Hatcher Pass proper, NW, 4k', ~38 deg slope

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

Instability tests

Weather & Snow Characteristics
Please provide details to help us determine the weather and snowpack during the time this observation took place.
Weather

Calm to moderate sinking cold air

Snow surface

Widespread NSF 0.5mm, Specific locations SH 1.4cm

Snowpack

General impression - tired slabs, moderate to strong strength, poor structure, high energy, low continuity

Weak basal facets and DH with pockets of hard slab. Most of the snowpack is now faceted. Some areas consist of purely fist to 4 finger hardness facets = soft square powder.

HS 25-85, many rocks showing, very poor coverage

Mixed instability results due to high spatial variability within the snowpack, from ECTX to ECTP20's SC and SP (Q1) to CTH's SP and SC (Q1), all failing at or near the ground on small faceted grains and/or large, developed depth hoar.

Many areas lack the slab component, and therefore lack an avalanche problem. These safer areas tend to be at low and mid elevation. However, there are isolated areas at mid elevation and specific areas at upper elevation where the slab component is present and possible to trigger. The size of these possible avalanches has a broad range, small to large. There are more opportunities to trigger small avalanches, and less opportunities to trigger large avalanches. The sensitivity of these avalanches varies greatly. Many will be stubborn and some may be surprisingly touchy. Overall it is a difficult avalanche problem to assess perfectly. As a general rule, avoid areas that are upper elevation where slopes have been wind loaded. Additionally reduce your exposure to the hazard by avoiding large open slopes, starting zones, and bowls that have previous wind loading.

Photos & Video
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