Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Sunnyside of Hatch Peak

Route & General Observations

Toured from the Fishhook lot up the Powder Pimple towards Hatch ridge and descended Sunnyside of Hatch. With clear skies and no wind we were able to see a lot of terrain. We observed stable snow conditions and no recent avalanches.

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 Red Flags or Recent Avalanches.

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

Clear skies and calm winds. Temperatures were mild at 27F degrees. The temps felt balmy like it was Hawaii at Hatchers today.

A short burst of wind on 12/31 formed thin 1-2" thick stubborn wind slabs, patchy and specific to ridgelines on west to north aspects.

Snow surface

Most ridges are exposed down to rock from wind events on 12/22-24. On 12/31 a brief period of SE winds gusted 19-24 mph for 5 hours at 4500' on Marmot . These winds also gusted SE up to 34mph on Hatch Pk at 4561' and scalloped soft snow layers from the surface, revealing rocks and shallow snowpack areas. Some snow surfaces a breakable wind-skin while others have a more supportable wind-hardened surface. In more wind protected locations of the mid and lower elevations, soft desirable snow conditions exist.


Over a meter of snowpack blankets most of Hatcher Pass. Variable surface conditions can be found near ridgelines and windward aspects, especially in the upper elevation zone . Without new snow in the last nine days, surface layers have been settling and gaining strength. Subsurface layers of the snowpack have been trending stable recently with older crust layers faceting out and becoming less pronounced. Stability tests in two pits on a SE and E aspect at 3770' and 3600' did not show propagating results ECTX. Compression tests showed moderate failures at new/old snow interface, above a more firm wind layer.
In general the snowpack is remarkably stable with very few layers. The old Thanksgiving facet-crust layer exists in isolated locations but we are not seeing propagation on this layer.

Photos & Video
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