Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Japanese Trees

Route & General Observations

Height of new snow in 24 hours HN24= 4 inches. A tour in Japanese Trees to look at new snow bonding to old surface layer and investigate snowpack structure for weak layers. Limited visibility with no wind transport of new snow.


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

Overcast skies and 22F degrees. Snowing at a rate of less than 0.5 inches per hour or S-1. Calm to no wind and no blowing snow.

Snow surface

Around 4 inches of new snow in 24 hours. Stellars with a size of 0.5mm were the surface grain type. Fist hardness


No new avalanches were observed and no red flags were apparent. Variable depth of snowpack with some areas still shallow with exposed rock and vegetation. Our pit location was in a wind deposited feature and it was over a meter deep. Two distinct crust layers in the mid to lower snowpack are sandwiched between layers of rounding facets. The upper crust is decomposing and becoming more brittle while the lower rain crust is pencil- hard. At the base of the snowpack, moist and weak facetted grains have struggled to support the snowpack above in other locations. We have found failures at the interface between loose basal facets and this firm crust in mid and upper elevations, but not today in the low elevation zone. Tenacious investigating did not show concern for bonding of new to old snow nor did we get propagating failures in test results on persistent weak layers. Hard forces did show a minor density change within older wind blown snow layers 20cm down from the surface.

Photos & Video
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