Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Lone Tree Gulch

Route & General Observations

Skied the SW fins of Teacup Bowl. Many of the ice bridges over the Su have caved in. There is just enough snow to make the low elevations passable.

Contact, Location & General Observations
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Forecaster Comments

Areas closer to the boundaries of the Matanuska and Susitna River Valley proper likely saw more wind effect in the most recent wind events, such as Mt Souverin. These wind events produced strong winds through the main river valleys but spared the heart of Hatcher Pass. A consideration to keep in mind are long valleys with fetch. Northerly winds were likely stronger through Little Susitna River Valley and Moose Creek. The quantity and low density of snow would make it easy for winds to create wind slabs failing on widespread weak snow. This is a great example of how our forecast can have high accuracy for the main forecast boundary area, but variations in conditions can still exist in specific or isolated areas, and in peripheral zones.

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

We observed a natural, low volume windslab release on the W face of Souvenir Peak. The crown looked to be 6-10 inches deep and 30 feet wide. While ascending a SW slope, we found some hollow windslabs on leeward W facing pockets. Although mostly un-reactive, we found places where the slab was hard and produced long shooting cracks. It was fairly shallow, similar to the release on Souvenir.

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

Cold and clear, temps were much warmer up high.

Snow surface

Highly variable, ranging from semi supportable windboard to buffed square powder. Old storm snow has settled considerably.


The snowpack is noticeably thinner in Lone Tree Gulch than Hatcher Pass proper.