Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Gold Chord>Pinnacle and Peak 4068'>Peak 4100'>Frostbite to Skeetawk

Route & General Observations

This observation combines two field days of touring and assessing wind slab thickness and reactivity, assessing snow surface conditions and seeking out good ski/riding quality. We have observed few recent avalanches over the past several days with good stability.

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

No cracking or whumping was observed over the past 2 days. We saw a couple small avalanches that likely occurred Saturday thru Monday. See pics

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

No new snow since 1/14.
Calm winds were observed on Wednesday on 4068' Ridgeline and Frostbite. Marmot reported NE gusts 15-21mph for 7 hours on Tuesday at 4500' although winds were calm on top of Gold Chord and the Pinnacle.
Temperatures were well below zero in the valley on Tuesday and Wednesday while an inversion up at Hatcher's reported a balmy 18-23 deg F both days at 4500'.
Temps at 3550' were in the teens on Tuesday and in the low 20's F on Wednesday. Temps were 11-15deg F on Tuesday and in the teens on Wednesday at 2750'.

Snow surface

Snow surfaces in most locations are faceted (sugary) and soft. At and just below ridgeline as well as on cross-loaded features, firm and smooth wind packed surfaces and breakable crust exist. Breakable wind slab 1-2" thick can be found on east to west aspects but it is patchy, not well connected, and lacks continuity. Last weeks wind has affected ski and riding quality however good turns can be found if you look hard enough.


Hand pits and pole tests over the last couple days reveal old stubborn wind slabs that lack propagation expect for in the most isolated or extreme terrain.

Photos & Video
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