Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Base of Birthday Pass

Route & General Observations

Toured past independence mine and made our way towards base of Birthday Pass. Turned around below 4000′ due to extremely poor visibility and quickly deteriorating weather. With poor visibility and heavy snowfall it was extremely difficult to navigate micro terrain features.

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Observer Comments

Heavy snow fall and strong winds were the only red flags we observed. Small terrain features that were steep produced minimal cracking 1-2 meters in length.

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

The forecast was right on target this morning with snow fall starting right around 10am and quickly increasing in intensity. Winds were moderate and parking lot and quickly increased to strong in just an hour or two. Snow was being transported rather quickly with our skin track became hard to find on the descent. Nordic track was difficult to locate on descent for a few minutes due to poor visibility and flat light.

Snow surface

Below 4000' snow was quickly turning from low density snow to wind pressed snow.


No formal pit test were conducted. We experienced minimal cracking, but weather conditions were building slabs with surprising speed. Fist hard show was quickly turning to a slab on some small features.