Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Rock Garden>Far Side (Pinnacle Valley)>Nosehairs

Route & General Observations

From Independence Lot we toured up towards the Far Side and down the Nosehairs. We found mostly stable conditions throughout our tour and dug on a northwest aspect around 4700 feet on a 35 degree slope. Firm and scoured surfaces exist at ridgeline. We did not observe and recent avalanches, cracking or whumping on our tour. Surprisingly, soft snow surfaces still exist in many locations.

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

The dog in our party skied one at a time, however, she unexpectedly took her own line and triggered a small sluff (not capable of burying injuring or killing a person) capable of injuring a dog. She was caught and carried a short distance through faceted steep rocky terrain. She managed to pop out and keep running at the bottom of the sluff surprisingly unaffected and not injured.

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

A few small dry loose sluffs were observed that might have occurred over the past couple days. No cracking or whumping were observed today.

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

New snow
No new snow since 1/8.

Winds between 3-7am reported gusts SSE 20-24mph at 4500' on Marmot. Winds on Hatch at 4561' from 2pm on 1/11 until 10 am on 1/12 gusted SE 30-45mph for 20 hours.
Winds died down as of 9 am this morning and were calm for most of our tour.
Skies were broken through most our tour with light snow showers as we descended around 2:30pm.

Temps averaged 15 deg F during most of the day at 4500' and 20 deg F at 3550'.

Snow surface

Soft snow surfaces exist in many locations except for ridgeline and just below ridgeline. Surface hoar was observed near ridgeline covered soft snow and was 1-2mm in size. In some leeward locations the soft snow was 20cm deep. Near ridgelines the winds have scoured snow surfaces and left behind 1 Finger hard snow.


A good looking structure to the snowpack exists overall with right-side up characteristics. Faceting is continuing to occur, and old firm slabs are degrading and becoming weaker. The Oct/Nov melt-freeze crust layer was located today 140cm down that was thin, breakable, and surrounded by facets. At the base of the snowpack a 4Finger layer of facets and depth hoar exists including old depth hoar that turned to melt-freeze grains and is once again faceting.

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.