Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Stairstep

Route & General Observations

Toured up Stairstep with a small group. Two big whumphs in thinner areas around 3200 ft near ridges. No shooting cracks or collapsing. High quality powder skiing below 3200ft. The snow was wind affected above 3200 ft with exposed ridges blown bare and/or down to the crust above the basal facets.

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?No
Collapsing (Whumphing)?Yes
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?No
Observer Comments

Recent strong winds scoured exposed ridges bare or down to the crust above our basal facets. Recent heavy snow fall. 2 whumphs in areas of shallow snow pack near ridges.

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

Obscured skies, light snow, and light airs throughout the time our our tour.
Marmot weather station - 1200 - 12 F, 4 mph E wind
(NEW!!!!) Hatch Peak weather station - 1200 - 12 F, 12 mph ESE wind
IM Snotel - last pulse of snow brought 4 inches of snow with ~0.4 SWE

Snow surface

Fun low density powder below 3200 feet
Wind effected snow and exposed crusts above 3200 feet


Dug one pit today at 2700 ft, NW aspect, slope angle 28 degrees

HS 125 cm
PS 30 cm
PF 65 cm

Test results were generally reassuring with no propagation; our only failures were within the storm snow of the last 2 days.

CT4 Q3 10 cm down
ECTN13 10 cm down

Photos & Video
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