Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Pinnacle (Archangel)

Route & General Observations

Headed towards Pinnacle in hopes to find protected snow in the alpine but the high winds and newly formed sensitive wind slabs kept us at lower elevations. Soft stable snow conditions where the winds hadn’t affected it.

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

While skinning up into the basin below Pinnacle on the Archangel side we experienced multiple shooting cracks 3 to 15 feet in length in wind affected snow. Hand pits revealed that the new windskin (4" thick in handpit) would fail on isolation on the old faceted snow it sat upon. E aspect 2800'. The instability and thought of skinning and booting in 30-50 mph winds kept us on lower, sheltered slopes, which did not disappoint.

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

20° sunny. Howling winds up high, 10 mph North winds below 3000'.

Snow surface

Soft where the wind hadn't gotten to it. Plenty of soft snow below 3500' where we were.


No formal tests. Just hand pits revealing sensitive new windslabs.

Photos & Video
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