Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Independence Mine area

Route & General Observations

Went up into the Pinnacle basin for a high north steep face but did not continue due to recent wind drifts up to 12″ thick forming a slab sitting on Near Surface Facets, seemed like our objective would have had the same set up or even a bigger and thicker slab. Moved over to Eldorado bench for one other run in flat light.

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

Got 2 small whumphs on wind drifted new snow that was sitting on NSF at 4,400 ft. north facing slope.
Easy hand shears in these wind pillows, 12" slab sitting on old snow surface (near surface facets).
No recent avalanches observed.

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

5" new snow, overcast, light S winds in pm, temp near freezing am, just above freezing pm.

Snow surface

5" new snow settling quickly in the near and above freezing temps. Areas of only 2" and areas found up to 12" thick from wind transport.


New snow seemed to be bonding well to old melt/freeze and sun crust.
New snow was not bonded well where it was sitting on near surface facets. Easy hand shears here with one hand pit failing on isolation with sudden planner character.