Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Arkose Ridge / Lone Tree Gulch

Route & General Observations

Toured up Goldmint to Lone Tree Gulch Drainage / Souvenir Peak drainage along Arkose ridge. As forecasted, found widespread wind slab as soon as we crested about 2400-2500 feet that was on an unstable base, with shooting cracks and loud frequent woomphing. No natural avalanches observed. There was more like 8-10 inches of new snow in this drainage compared to reported 4-6. We found surprisingly excellent ski conditions on low angle slopes between 2-3 K feet. High quality soul skiing!

Contact, Location & General Observations
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Forecaster Comments

In speaking with the observer it became appearent that new snow totals below 3000’ were difficult to judge as old, sugary snow made the new snow feel deeper than it actually was.
The combination of old, unconsolidated snow and the new snow made for a total of 8-10” of low density “powder”.

Also of note is the old, sugary snow at mid elevation was capped by wind slabs on the leeward aspects of terrain features and produced localized cracking, less than 10’. Audible whunphing was present, due to the weak, unconsolidtaed nature of the old snow, with stiffer fresh wind slabs on top.

This party did not ascend above 3500’.

These bulls eye clues point to an unstable wind slab problem sitting on persistent grains that will need more time to adjust and stabilize.

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Obvious signs of instability
Recent Avalanches?No
Collapsing (Whumphing)?Yes
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?Yes
Observer Comments

Shooting cracks and woomphing on widespread windslab

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

Clouds w/ lowering cloud ceiling as the afternoon went on. Light windless snowfall this afternoon