Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Goldmint/Lonesome Mine Region

Route & General Observations

Began tour around 1030 with temp around freezing at parking lot. Weather was partly cloudy all day with the sun sneaking out every now and then. Based on the movement of clouds, it looked to be constant wind in the 15 mph range by our rough estimate, but we were protected down low and didn’t have much wind. Ended tour around 1445 with temps slightly above freezing, and more sunny than cloudy.

As for wind loading, we saw less active wind loading than we expected based on the forecast, but still some. We saw frequent flagging on ridgetops, but only lasting a few moments at a time. We did not see widespread areas of wind affect – only small, isolated sections.

As for snowpack: Pole probing revealed a subtle upside down structure in the most recent snow, with the first few inches feeling a bit denser than the rest but not enough to cause us concern. After that snowpack was mostly right side up, except for a cm of two of lower density snow at the bottom of snowpack, likely the depth hoar. On a N aspect we elected not to ski, it consisted of the storm snow on top of a stout crust that would sluff really easily. But the storm snow has settled a bit and it was a little more cohesive here, with sluff breaking off in a chunky manner. Aside from that, most of the snowpack was the last storm’s snow on top of seemingly bottomless faceted snow, making for good skiing.

We also noted that the first few inches of snowpack got a little denser between the beginning of tour and end of tour, likely due to the relative warmth today. And lots of old point release dry loose avalanches pretty much everywhere most of which initiated from rock outcroppings on solar aspects.

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