Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Two Lakes Basin

Route & General Observations

We have to admit, we have gotten sucked into the high quality skiing at upper elevations and accordingly our observations have taken us to these choice zones of interest. Forecasters are humans too. Curious about how things are hanging in at mid elevations ski quality wise, we felt compelled to gather some data from the 2,500-3,500′ zone. Headed into the Two Lakes Basin via the Knob to assess snow surfaces and signs and impacts of warming. Today marked the first day of official Spring with totally clear skies.

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

-Clear skies today, calm to light and variable breezes.
-Below freezing temperatures this morning: 26° @ 0800 at Frostbite Station, 31° @ noon.
-Gold Mint lot was above freezing (with ice melting) by 1300.

Snow surface

Variable snow surfaces observed in this area. On our tour, we experienced a variety of crusts, wind effected snow and slick skin and ski tracks on the approach, soft faceted snow and fully melted ridges with exposed tundra(West Two Lakes North ridge @ 3,000-3,400'). Skiing out of the basin provided some wind packed powder with variable crusts lower down which were zipper crust in feel by creek level. Solar aspects at lower elevations were soft and demonstrating moist-wet characteristics (could make a snowball and squeeze some water out) by 1230.


No signs of instability observed. We did see some old (most likely 3/18) point releases on west facing couloirs in the basin at roughly 3,800' as well as old, buried wind slab debris. Numerous D1 wet loose from the previous day were observed on Idaho Peak and beyond but as we were mostly on north facing terrain, did not get a good observation of today's warming (see Barker/Lewthwaite ob). Cornices are looking large in some areas but we did not see any recent signs of warming, sagging or drooping. On polar aspects, the snowpack remains uniformly faceted via easy pole tests.

Photos & Video
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