Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Cable Valley

Route & General Observations

Traveled passed the Pinnacle from IM with hopes of accessing Fairangel couliors. Horrible flat light and low snow were just a couple factors that had us change our plan for the day. We experienced variable snow and a small whumpf followed by a larger wumpf that sounded to travel above and below us just below fairangle pk. We believe these were wind slabs? We only experienced cracking around our skis and isolated high energy cracking on corners of the skin track. This caused the top couple inches of crust to breakaway and fill in the corners of the skin track. We then headed over to the other side of the bowl to ski the obvious coulior. We topped out just north west of the cables in cable valley. We wanted a look around so began hiking to the high point. While booting up a very small steeper roll over (probably wind feature), we experienced a large shallow sounding whumpf. This one sounded like a thin layer of ice on a lake dropping. Both incidents, did not result in fractures or moving snow. They both occurred on similar south west-ish aspects.

Contact, Location & General Observations
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Forecaster Comments

Winds increased on Marmot @ 4500' for approximately 20+ hours SE gusting 20-26mph and on Hatch peak @ 4561' for 18+ hrs SE gusting 30-40mph and could have built small wind slabs above 3500' in specific locations.

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

Whumpfing explained in general observations section. Only isolated cracking around skis and near corners of skin track. Largest cracking we had was on corner of skin track that was about 2 skis long. Snow was incredibly variable and these were not wide spread.

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

Big dreams, wicked flat light kind of day
Warm temps. Car said mid 30s in parking lot.
We were protected most the day from the winds.

Snow surface

Very little new snow. Dusting in the parking lot to only a couple inches up high. Snow was quite variable from a little heavier powder (warmer temps) to multiple levels of wind and sun crusts, and even found a small patch of melt freeze icy sun crust above cable valley. Parts of ridges were blown down to rocks.

Photos & Video
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