Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Gold Mint Parking Lot/Archangel Road

Route & General Observations

Went for a tour from the Gold Mint parking lot up to the benches around Archangel road to teach students snow pack observations and travel techniques. Blue bird skies, no wind. Below freezing temps.

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

Recent avalanches were present on all aspects. There were too many to count! The avalanches observed ranged from D1 to D2.5+. Roughly ⅔ of the observed avalanches released at the ground and ~⅓ of the observed avalanches released mid-pack. The avalanche we observed in Wimp bowl looked like it could have been a wind slab- we noted texture snow on ridges caused by southerly winds. Most avalanches occurred with starting zones on slopes of 35-45 degrees.

Other red flags- there was subtle collapsing under our skis on the skin up when we left the skin track.

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

Cold and clear. Blue bird skies. No wind.

Snow surface

Snow surfaces were soft low density snow. Wind transport was observed on upper elevations and ridge lines caused by southerly winds.


Test Results (on pictured pit):
HS 136cm
CT11SC 7cm down from snow surface
ECTP29 on basal facets

Student pits had similar results- reactivity in the first 10 cm from the snow surface and reactivity on the basal facets. None of the instructor or student pits had reactivity around MF crust layers.

Slab is strengthening, faceting at the surface.

Photos & Video
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