Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Two Lakes Valley/Ridge

Route & General Observations

Toured up and around The Knob from the west ramp, across the old avalanche debris field. Once in the valley, toured up the west ridge and did a few laps up and down after the test and then went down to Gold Mint and back up again. A little too early for corn on these aspects, but the valley skied pretty nice. Had to jump turn on the steeper ridge, but that was the trick. Lower angle skied just fine. Hard crust with variable new snow 1/2″ to 1″ and occasional wind slab 1-3″.

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

Started around 26 degrees, calm on most slopes, but the ridge was blowing pretty good, at least 20mph from the west to westsouthwest at first. Seemed to calm a few mph later on. No real snow to transport, but could see it was blowing harder higher above 4000'. 6 hours later it was in the 40s and snow on S aspects was corning out pretty good.

Snow surface

Crust with occasional new snow 1/2 to 1", wind slab 1-3" at times. Did not ski bad though, seemed to carve pretty nice on the crust.


65cm or so of snow. Crust layer about 5cm thick. ECTN10, the crust layer failed on small facets at about 60cm, no propagation. ECTN22, slab failed at 48cm, no propagation, seemed to be on slightly weaker snow in between layers/small facets 1mm. Ran the test a few more times and got the same results each time, same number of hits and same layer failing. Feeling the snow it felt weaker in this area, but it was all around 4F. Ground facets ~5mm at about 15-17cm or so and fist-hard. Good striations on these and also growing off the rocks and veg beneath.

Photos & Video
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