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Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Gold Mint

Date:
Observer:
Route & General Observations

Toured up from Gold Mint Parking Lot (which was plowed, thankfully). Objectives for tour were to:

1. Assess storm snow height (and density changes within storm snow)
2. Evaluate bonding with pre storm snow surface
3. Ski deep powder in green light terrain (which included being aware of “overhead hazard”)
4. Potentially see any natural avalanche activity

Strategic mindset for the day was: Assessment

 

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 obvious signs of instability were encountered on this low angle tour. No cracking, whumphing, or shooting cracks. No natural or human caused avalanches were observed (although visibility was quite limited).

Red flags are recent heavy loading, warming temps, and SSE winds 15-25 mph (at higher elevations)

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

Obscured skis throughout tour. S2.

Marmot Weather Station (Snotels aren't recording as of 1800 3/8/2020):

Mar 8th 12:00 pm 15.5F RH97% Wind 12mph SE gusting to 18mph
Mar 8th 2:00 pm 16.6F RH97% Wind 16mph SSE gusting to 24mph
Mar 8th 4:00 pm 16.4F RH97% Wind 15mph SSE gusting to 20mph

In Gold Mint area we felt very little wind and the surface snow was not wind affected at all.

Snow surface

Low density deep powder skiing

Snowpack

Hand shears on new snow/old snow interface were failing either on isolation or very easy on all slope aspects, elevations, and angles. Interestingly, we were able to find the very thin drizzle crust about 65cm down at mid elevations. Hand shears were failing in and around this crust. The drizzle crust was not present on our formal pit.

Snow pit data: Results below, please see attached Snow Pilot for hardness profile.

Goldmint 2700ft. NW aspect. 30 degree slope.
HS 250cm
HN 80 cm

CT7 Q3 down 45cm
CT11 Q2 down 65cm
CT25 Q3 down 85cm

ECTN9 down 45cm
ECTP21 down 85cm

Photos & Video
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