Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Cross Hill

Route & General Observations

The last week has been warm but weather stations at multiple elevations (IM, Hatch, Marmot) have remained near or just below freezing, with above freezing temperatures at lower elevations during the day (below 2,700′ @ Frostbite). We are still seeing consistent overnight freezes above 3000′, with intermittent freezing at Frostbite station. The last week has been mostly cloudy and broken with intermittent sun which has created some weak, breakable melt freeze crusts. The lack of consistent solar input has kept our low snow year from rapidly melting. The last major cycle of wet loose activity was last Wednesday 3/20. We toured up Cross Hill to assess surface conditions and examine the snowpack structure.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

No cracking, collapsing or recent avalanches were observed today.

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

-Thick valley fog with high humidity until the Fishook Lot at 1030. Skies were more broken with moments of sun trending towards valley fog pushing up to 4,000' by 1330.
-Calm winds.
-Marmot station was 29° @ 1200
-IM Weather station was 29° @ 1200
-Frostbite was 33° @ 1200

Snow surface

Snow surfaces are variable. In areas that are more polar (NNE) above 3,500', we found trace to 1" new snow over facets and a ski penetration of around 6". As soon as you tilt to a more easterly aspect, breakable crusts were detectable. On southern/western steeper solars (35°+) had more pronounced crusts that were not softening with afternoon warming and low solar input. Slight changes in aspect made all the difference with riding enjoyability today.


We dug on Cross Hill E, 3,800' 32° at 1200. We found good structure (a rounding rightside up snowpack) and good stability (no propagation in extended column test). See pit and side wall photo.

Photos & Video
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