Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Marmot Ridge

Route & General Observations

Skied 4 runs on steep north facing terrain of Marmot Ridge. The snow would qualify as “great.” Consolidating powder from the recent small dumps on top of the settled 30″ storm. Attempted to mitigate cornice hazard above north skin track (with spotter) with cornice cutting “backcountry bomb,” cornice was stubborn, but managed to release a 100-300 lb piece of snow, yielded no result. Observed about 40 skier-runs on Rae Wallace with no results elsewhere.

Other than pleasant skiing in the Rae Wallace chutes and spine features, the only observation of significance was sluffing. Sluffs entrained much more snow than they were initiated with. Could definitely carry the unbalanced skier somewhere they didn’t want to go. One such sluff was initiated on a hanging piece of snow over cliffs and has enough mass to carry or partially bury a person.

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

Calm, cold-ish (-12c to -5c), low wind, thin wipsy clouds...much better than 50% clouds forecasted for the Hatcher Pass region.

Snow surface

Mixed. Sun crusts on southerly exposed slopes, wind slabs on ridge tops. Primary ski surface featured right side up, consolidated powder with about 12" of ski penetration.


As described above.