Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Gold Cord

Route & General Observations

Objective was to confirm/deny the presence of persistent weak layers in the mid and upper elevations. Find and test weak layers in a shallow snowpack area. Investigate increasing stability of snowpack on South and East aspects. Look for recent avalanches.

Todays observation of the Hatcher Pass area revealed no new avalanches.

Light winds from the east was actively transporting recent snow to gullies and confining terrain features on leeward slopes. Deposition areas were up to 2 feet deep in some locations. While scoured areas showed bare ground and rocks. I found most surface snow to be soft and not firm wind-board in less exposed areas. Light snow showers added 1cm of new snow.

Generally stable snow conditions existed where I chose to tour today. Although poor snowpack structure on north and east aspects of the upper elevations does exist, and cautious route selection is advised.


Contact, Location & General Observations
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Forecaster Comments

Improving stability trend on southeast aspects of the upper elevations. Wind transport of recent snow to leeward aspects and confining terrain features.

Weather & Snow Characteristics
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Arrival to Hatcher Pass around 1130 was mostly clear skies but visibility diminished quickly. Overcast skies with 22F degrees. Light winds from the east gusting moderate with blowing snow. A 2 hour window of S-1 light snow showers from 1300 to 1500 with 1cm new snow.

Snow surface

Wind affected snow with areas of scouring and deposition. The new snow was rimed and flakes were broken. Soft snow was over 22cm deep in some areas.


Generally stable conditions in my pit and ski location. Snowpack structure was not displaying any alarming red flags. Mid snowpack layers where prior melting and refreezing crusts have formed are now decomposing & faceting, which is making them weak. Stability tests confirmed moderate to hard forces may collapse these stubborn weakened layers.

Photos & Video
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