Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Marmot - South ridge to weather station

Route & General Observations

Toured up the South ridge of Marmot to assess the distribution and hardness of new crusts that formed over the past week during the unseasonably warm weather. We found crusts up to 3800′ buried by 2-3″ of new snow in some locations and scoured down to tundra in others. It probably ranked as one of the 20 worst conditions days at Hatchers with firm bulletproof sastrugi at upper elevation combined with barely edgeable firm slick crusts at mid to low elevation, both being the biggest hazards of the day. Bring your ski crampons! We de-rimed the weather station so we can accurately read the current 58mph winds, yikes!

Avalanche Details
If this is an avalanche observation, click yes below and fill in the form as best as you can. If people were involved, please provide details.
Avalanche Details

We observed a few old D1 wind slabs from 2/19-20 in the Lodge Run and Martin Mine a few small wet loose from the past week of unseasonably warm weather.

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 cracking, whumping or recent avalanches were observed today.

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

2-3" new snow this week.
Winds tapered this morning after strong winds over the past 15+ hours.
Light to moderate winds today on Marmot at 4500' increasing to SE 30 gusting in the 40's by the afternoon.
Temperatures finally cooled down after a week of unseasonably warm temps.
Temps reported in the teens on Marmot @ 4500' today, low 20'sF at IM @3550' and upper 20'sF at Frostbite @2700'.

Snow surface

We observed firm melt freeze crusts up to 3800' with some exposed and others buried by 1-2" thick 4F hard wind slabs.
Travel was so firm and slick in isolated locations that we booted up the last third of the south ridge of Marmot.
Variable thin stubborn shallow wind slabs from 2/19-20 with minimal cracking on SW to N aspects were observed today.
Large cornices that have been building throughout the last several wind events are overhung and stubborn and hard to break off.
Many ridges are scoured down to tundra.
No powder exists above 3500'. Rimed surfaces are prevalent at upper elevation.


No propagation in pits today
Hand shears failed with moderate force > wind slabs sitting on melt freeze crusts formed 2-11-2/19

Photos & Video
Please upload photos below. Maximum of 5 megabytes per image. Click here for help on resizing images. If you are having trouble uploading please email images separately to staff.