Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Two Lakes

Route & General Observations

Toured out of Gold Mint to assess surface conditions following the February 10th-15th wind event in Hatcher. Snow surfaces were variable from facets on lee slopes at lower elevations, wind skins (breakable wind affect on the snow surface) less than an inch in thickness to thick, scalloped and scoured surfaces with no ski penetration. We did not observe any red flags of wind slab instability on our tour, though did see several small D1 wind slab avalanches below cornices on ridgetops and the larger Archangel D2 avalanche from Feb 13/14. Skiing was most favorable on leeward slopes well below ridgetops with moderate steepness.

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

Recent natural avalanches from the last 48 hours of wind loading observed throughout the forecasting area (see photos). The most recent slab avalanches occurred early morning 2/14. We observed few small wet loose sluffs from 2-14/15 on steep southerly aspects on Idaho Peak and similar terrain up Archangel Valley.

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

-Sunny and clear today. We did not see any significant signs of warming and temperatures on polar aspects remained just below freezing (30┬░ F) during peak sun.
-Winds finally diminished after 5 days of moderate to extreme gusts. Winds today were generally light, with moderate gusts out of the south.
-No new snow has been reported since 2/10.

Snow surface

Variable. Down low below 2,500' on NW facing we had soft facets with decent ski penetration. As we ascended, we saw more variable signs of wind affect with wind skin, wind crusts, and raised scalloped snow with no ski penetration.


Our test pit to the ground showed a healing snowpack with signs of rounding. No propagation in tests and saw rounding in the depth hoar at the bottom of the snowpack (see photo for structure information).

Photos & Video
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