Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Independence Bowl Mine Area

Route & General Observations

Toured around in the Independence Bowl area and performed stability tests.

Contact, Location & General Observations
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Forecaster Comments

Forecasters in the field also observed small 2" thick windslabs forming on Hatch Peak from E winds G19-21 for 6 hrs on Saturday 12/9. No wind slabs were observed on Presidents ridge.

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

Observed shooting cracks in freshly formed soft windslabs, along a west facing gully side. Only observed it in a few isolated locations.

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

Light snowfall, and poor visibility all afternoon. Total accumulation between noon and 4 pm was roughly 2 inches.

Snow surface

New snow and in a few isolated location (west facing gullies) soft windslabs.


Dug pits in 3 locations between 3400-3500 feet. On east and west aspects. All pits exhibited good-fair structure, no propagation propensity (ECTN), and low strength. All compression tests failed at easy to moderate force (CT3-10), on near surface facets at the new-old snow interface.
Deeper snow were all right side up, with no signs of instability observed in the basal facets.