Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Hatcher Pass

Route & General Observations

Independence Mine Bowl Area 3000 – 5300’, west to south to east aspects.

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Observer Comments

Localized cracking of 7-8cm of Fist hard, low density snow, new overnight, sitting over 20-25cm of older (January High Pressure) Fist hard faceted snow. Watch this faceted layer for future loading events.

Sluffing was easy to trigger on multiple aspects, on slopes 35 degrees and steeper, in the new/old snow interface and in some cases stepped down into soft, older faceted snow, entraining and gouging more volume, and larger in size. In many cases, sluffing was limited to the new snow, sliding on firm surfaces, without entraining or gouging out more snow, and small in size.

Old large, natural slab activity observed on westerly upper elevation ridges lines in the Delia Creek Area, and small, natural slab activity observed on cross loaded mid and upper elevation ridge lines on the SE side of Marmot near Presidents on SSE aspects.

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

Calm winds at 5300’, -10C, clear skies.
Inversion and overcast in Palmer, ceiling at 2200’

Snow surface

New, fist hard low density snow. 2-3”

This sits on 20-25cm of fist hard faceted snow in some locations, and in other locations it sits on a recent, thin wind slab, 5-15cm thick, with no propagation results in snow pit today and in ski cut testing in numerous locations on all aspects at mid to upper elevation.


Facets near the surface may be a problem with future loading, but is not a concern for now.
The mid pack and lower pack is mostly homogenous, lacking significant flaws, and propagation results.