Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Hatcher Pass Proper & Septum Pass/Gold Chord Lake Bowl

Route & General Observations

Today’s forecaster development day was multimodal. Ryan and Allie conducted observations via snowmachine at Hatcher Pass proper and Andy joined for a tour up above Gold Chord Lake. Our intentions were to assess multiple aspects, lots of different terrain and elevations for signs of warming and wind effect from the 3.12-13. Sunny, calm and clear conditions made for an excellent day in HP. Despite our extended drought cycle, the two things we have going for us is stability of the snowpack and high quality skiing in many areas.

FYI: Septum Pass is the Pass between Microdot and Nosehairs above Gold Chord between IM and Sydney Creek.

Avalanche Details
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Avalanche Details

One small D1 wind slab was intentionally triggered just below ridgeline and was approximately 20ft wide on a north aspect at 4000' on 4068'. The slab broke but didnt move any distance.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

No signs of instability observed.

Weather & Snow Characteristics
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Calm, partly cloudy and sunny throughout the day. By 1400, a light south breeze was detectable.

Snow surface

Snow surfaces were consistently soft, with some variation on wind effect and what was below the top 4-6" of snow. Some areas had more pronounced scalloping (see April Bowl photo) while others had some thin wind skins (see photo).

On true solar aspects (W and S), we could feel a soft combination of wind and melt freeze crusts. These were inconsistent and the upper snow surface did not show signs of warming in direct sunlight with air temps in the high 20s at 1300.

Our polar aspects revealed what is keeping us in the game this low-snow season: boot to knee deep facets. This made for some excellent turns, albeit a wallowy boot pack.


We did not see any red flags. Our snowpack is increasing in stability.

Photos & Video
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