Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Gold Cord Peak

Route & General Observations

Toured up the south ridge of Gold Cord Peak to look for buried surface hoar and compare depths on windward and leeward aspects. No signs of instability observed. Recycled powder ski quality is extremely high, but a generally thin, rocky snowpack on windward aspects is hard on the skis.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

None observed.

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

Cold! In spite of temperatures in the low teens today, a NE wind was strong enough to make for a very chilly tour. Cloud cover to the south increased from few to scattered throughout the day.

Snow surface

Sparse intact stellars were sparkling on the surface, but no measurable accumulation. The surface snow continues to facet rapidly under cold temperatures.


Dug two pits. Found an extremely faceted snowpack, with remarkably rotten basal facets, and yet the only indications of propagation potential came from sudden planar and sudden collapse fracture character in CTs, with no propagation in ECTs.

Pit 1: Death Traverse, E Aspect, 4190', 23* Slope. HS= 90 cm. CTN, ECTX. Nearly the entire snowpack is 4F facets or softer at this location. Able to easily plunge my entire arm into the basal facets below the melt freeze crust (penetrARMeter test?)

Pit 2: Gold Cord Peak, WSW Aspect, 4452', 30* Slope. HS= 105-110 cm. CT 21 SC down 38 cm on graupel. CT 22 SC and 23 SP down 40 cm on near surface facets. ECTN17 down 35 cm all under a stiff old wind slab.

CT 20 SC down 80 cm on 2mm facets & 9mm decomposing BSH above the rain crust, CT 27 SP down 80 cm on 3mm chained facets in 9mm chains below the rain crust.

Photos & Video
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