Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Two Lakes Valley/Ridge

Route & General Observations

Toured up Gold Mint then 90 degree right turn and up the alders to Two Lakes Valley. New snow, moisture content seemed pretty normal, ski penetration 6″ to 12″ depending on area. During up-track, heard a pretty loud whumph and alders shook a little bit. Heard maybe 2 more during the skin up. Visibility was kind of poor, it was in the clouds up higher and I was pretty happy with the low-angle choice. Dug a pit for practice. Many natural avalanches on West and South aspects, likely from last warming cycle, looked like they were wet loose.

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

Whumphing, from about 2400' and up, at least 3x, enough to shake the surrounding alders on the first one.

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

Snow flurries early on, temp started around 28 degrees. A few hours later, up in the valley, my thermometer showed 38. Was similar down low back at the end. Clouds moving in and out, mostly staying obscured higher up.

Snow surface

New snow 8-12", only very slight wind pack on top, maybe 1/2cm.


Tried to take some pictures of the snow profile and ECT results, but for some reason the pictures weren't coming out and couldn't tell due to my contact lenses. Snowpack around 180cm, dug a pit on NW aspect, 25 degrees. There were two ECTN results between 10-20cm down at 13 and 19 taps respectively, but the pictures I was using to record depth didn't work out. There was an ECTP at 22, 40cm down, poor quality, but definitely went through. Seems unlikely that this would go, but there is a decent amount of snow above and it would bury pretty deep. This may have been responsible for the whumphing, but this pit was on a bit different aspect. About 120cm down it turns to facets and continues to the ground. Directly above this layer is rounds for about 30cm and then a few alternating layers of 1F old crust and 4F newer precip moving up towards the top. Was fairly dramatic how much the snow had warmed down low in the valley when I came down around 2:30pm. Had turned very wet and I'm sure I could have squeezed a significant amount of water out of it.

Photos & Video
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