Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: SW ridge of Marmot

Route & General Observations

Toured up the SW ridge of Marmot to check out structure and stability at various elevations after a week of unseasonably- above freezing temps below 3550′ and two nights above freezing up to 4500′. Stability is improving slowly. We had few, small, localized collapses (whumping) today. No new avalanches have been observed since 11/16. Many ridges are still blown clean with numerous rocks visible. Snow depth varies considerably from 1ft deep to 4ft deep on leeward aspects and terrain features. Caution is advised and conservative skiing/riding while the rocks sharks are still visible.

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

Few, small, localized collapses (whumping) were observed today. This is a significant improvement from last week!
No new avalanches since 11/16.

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

Trace of new snow overnight. No new significant snow since 11/14.
Overcast skies today with improving visibility by early afternoon.
Calm winds today.
Temps @ 11am
30degF at 2700'
28degF at 3550'
26degF at 4500'

Snow surface

Snow surfaces have warmed up over the past week. Today we observed less facets and more decomposing fragments, old graupel, and rounding facets.
No new crusts were observed today from the week's warm up between 2700' to 4000'.


We dug pits at 3100' and 3700' today on SW aspects.
General picture:
Facets still exist at the base of the pack but are smaller (than they were 5 days ago), starting to round, have more friction and are bonding better to the slab sitting on top of the facets.
Facets are moist at the bottom of the pack.

Pit 1: See snowpilot pit

Pit 2: Marmot SW aspect 37deg
Adjacent to crown from 11/16
HS 120cm
ECTP20 , failed in 2-3 mm facets and 5cm above basal facets
10cm thick facet layer at base of pack
1-2mm facets sitting over 2-3mm MFC over 3mm basal facets

Photos & Video
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