Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Telemint Glacial Valley

Route & General Observations

Started tour at 7am at Gold Mint trailhead and walked about 7 miles on Gold Mint trail before turning off to the east to ascend the headwall leading into the valley formed by Telemint Glacier. Throughout the morning surface conditions were nice with dry, low density snow from the storm last Monday and Tuesday. Surface hoar observed in Telemint valley but not anywhere else. Once the sun rose high temps increased, once we were back in gold mint valley all the dry snow had started to develop a crust and became heavy and wet. Nice and sunny all day with little to no winds.

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

Skied into a small protected gully on the valley head wall and found a pocket of a protected soft slab consisting of the snow from the storm last week sitting on top of a melt-freeze crust. As I inched into the gully to investigate conditions my skis made contact with the soft slab and a ~5ft long crack shot out. Abandoned the gully without triggering a slide but skiing through that gully would definitely cause a release with high consequence due to many rocks and boulders downhill.

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

Sunny, no wind, 18F at car @7am, 38f at car @3:30pm, 16F at pit location.

Snow surface

Dry powder on top of either a melt-freeze crust or wind slab, turning to wet snow as the day progressed.


Dug a quick pit @3500' on a West aspect. CT24 ~50cm down. Total plainer fracture, moderate energy, moderate propagation potential.

Photos & Video
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