Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Marmot

Route & General Observations

Toured up marmot to figure out how structure of snowpack is changing on sun affected slopes. Overall poor ski quality on slopes with sun exposure

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Observer Comments

No collapsing or cracking of note. Sun crusts were fragile and would crack about ski length on kick turn tests. Relatively cool snow surfaces with no new avalanches observed.

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

Today the sky was overcast with calm winds. No new precipitation was observed and temps were in the low 20's for most of our tour.

Snow surface

The snow surface is quite variable depending on aspects. On south facing slopes a thick sun crust has developed and was supportable in some areas. near ridge tops cold low density now could be found in protected areas. Sun did not appear to be warming surfaces as we toured. It appears that rain from earlier in the week did not effect the surface.


Our snow pit had poor structure, moderate strength, and low propagation potential. the January facets haven't gone away, in our pit they were buried 4' deep. This deep persistent slab is a great example of low probability/high consequence avalanche problem. The top 25cm of the snow involves a crust sandwich which is made up of two crusts with low density snow in between each crusts. The crust sandwich leaves much to be desired in terms of ski quality.

Marmot up track 3400' S aspect, 25 degree slope.
HS 175
ECTN11 @ old sun-crust interface 25cm from surface
PST145/150 END on January facets

Photos & Video
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