Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Lower Marmot

Route & General Observations

Went for a quick tour up lower Marmot to get an idea of how the wind affected the snowpack. No surprise that the winds ravaged Hatcher Pass. Signs of wind effected snow was observed at lower elevations.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

No recent avalanches, shooting cracks or collapsing were observed.

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

Broken sky, with light winds from the SE. Visibility was great and was useful for avoiding sastrugi and other wind features.

Snow surface

It seems like every type of wind effected snow can be found in the forecast area. In the small area, we experienced pencil-hard wind slabs, thin breakable wind slabs, and old rain crusts. In some areas near ridge tops tundra could be seen. Riding quality leaves much to be desired.


Overall the snowpack in our pit location had poor structure, moderate strength, and high propagation potential. We found pencil hard wind slab over a foot thick at the surface, and fist hard basal facets at the ground. Extended column tests failed and propagated on the basal facets at the ground. The snowpack depth seems to be highly variable depending on the aspect due to wind.

Marmot SSW 3100'
28 degree slope
HS 145cm

ECTP12 at the ground, failed on 2-3mm rounding facets.

Photos & Video
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