Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Pinnacle Basin

Route & General Observations

Toured up to Pinnacle Basin on 12/10 & 12/11. Skied 11 short runs on a variety of aspects and elevations along our route. Most notably a NW facing slope at 4700ft where we conducted a snowpack analysis and test.

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

2 signs of whumphing at 4800 feet on a NW and W facing slopes. The W aspect whumph resulted in a shooting crack remotely 10-15ft above us and crack was 15-20ft feet across parallel to slope.

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

27F Degrees in Independence Mine parking lot at 9am.
Cloudy, fog, light flurry, and Hatcher flat light. Light breeze.
Clouds gave way to partly cloudy/clear skies in the afternoon around 1pm.
24F Degrees in Pinnacle Basin at 1pm.

24F Degrees in Independence Mine parking lot at 10am.
Mostly Cloudy. No wind.
Snow fall came in during the afternoon. Slow falling, large snowflakes. Up to 2 inches in small regions, not widespread.

Snow surface

Soft snow in Basin at low elevation. Some signs of wind affect snow on ridges, mountain tops, and exposed features. Snowpack is extremely variable at different elevations and on different aspects. Some good powder to be found on protected slopes, lots of exposed rocks, rotten facets covered by wind deposited snow, wind board slabs, bare tundra, deep wind blown snow in gullies and protected basins. Witnessed up to approximately 2 inches of new snow fall in select areas in the Basin on 12/11 during an afternoon snow shower.


Snow pit and snowpack information in Snow Pilot graph & Pictures.

Photos & Video
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