Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Fern Mine

Route & General Observations

Toured up Archangel Road past President’s Ridge towards the Fern Mine zone to assess upper snowpack structure after driving up to the Lodge/Independence Mine lot. We had some visibility but light quickly got flat as trace snow turned more steady by 2pm. With our 3-4″ of fresh snow on Monday the 4th, conditions were generally light and fluffy.


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?Yes
Collapsing (Whumphing)?No
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?No
Observer Comments

Higher up in the pass, we saw small (D1) dry loose avalanches.

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

-Partly cloudy>Overcast and marginal vis.
-Light E winds. No moving snow.
-Warm! 28* by 1300
-Trace snow>S-1 or just under 1cm or<1/2" per hour by 1400

Snow surface

New snow from Monday bonded nicely with our 2/22-2/24 storm snow (see upper snowpack profile photo). Unsurprisingly, the best skiing was in places without lingering crusts or wind affected snow beneath. This was easy to find below ridgelines.


We dug a pit at 3,200' E facing. 32cm or 12"+ settled storm snow and new snow was sitting on top of a
~40cm wind packed brick from the mid-February wind event. This layer was impenetrable (Knife hard+), we did not dig below it. The structure here indicated that in areas with uniform bed surface (melt freeze crusts, wind packed rounds like this area), relatively dry, loose snow could sluff.

Photos & Video
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