Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Hatcher Pass & Hatch Peak

Route & General Observations

Mid-week parking lots have thinned out as Spring Break draws to a close. Toured up to Hatcher Pass proper and Hatch Peak to check out signs of brief moderate wind from the 16th and 17th and warming from yesterday. While it looks awfully spring like on solar aspects, skiing remains soft and excellent on polars in mid to upper elevations where ski track free terrain is hanging on. If snowfall is the problem, terrain (aspect) is the answer. While we saw a lot of variable signs of our low snow year and the start of spring warming, we were able to make turns in powder.


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

It was already quite warm just after sunrise today. At 0800, Frostbite weather station @ 2,700' read 32F° and Hatch recorded 23F°. Upper elevations remained in the 20s and got to near freezing by late afternoon. Skies were mostly sunny with valley fog to our west.

Snow surface

Conditions are variable but there is still excellent skiing. Passes and ridgelines in the upper elevations were scoured and firm. Just below ridgetop on lee aspects, we found wind packed powder. Below that on shaded aspects, the snow was soft and dry on most north through west aspects. Sunny south facing slopes were moist and a few recent (03/18 warming) small loose wet point releases were observed in steep terrain throughout the forecast area.


-Stable conditions with no red flags observed.
-Small D1 wet loose point releases observed from 03/18. These were all very shallow and below rock bands, in gullies and in steep terrain.
-Observed a few small natural cornice releases on the shady side of Hatch Peak. These appeared recent and most likely occurred after warmup on 03/18.

Photos & Video
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