Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Powder Pimple (off Sunnyside of Hatch), Lower Eldorado test slopes

Route & General Observations

Toured up to the 11/15 D1.5 human triggered avalanche on Powder Pimple to do a crown profile, assess snowpack stability and structure. We also did some slope testing and snowpack assessment on the Lower Eldorado test-slopes. Overall we found 4 lemons in the snowpack, weak strength, poor structure and we found propagation in almost every 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?Yes
Collapsing (Whumphing)?Yes
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?Yes
Observer Comments

We observed one new avalanche today after numerous people skied a slope on the SW face of Marmot. We also observed numerous natural, human triggered and remotely triggered avys from 11/14-15. Throughout our tour today we consistently felt whumping with collapses near the base of the pack, approximately 1 to 2 ft deep. We also observed some shooting cracks on wind loaded slopes. We intentionally jumped on the top of a test slope today and got the weak layer to fail, whump as loud as any of us have ever heard, crack and propagate up to 1 meter deep, move 4" downhill (and stop) and approximately 50 ft to each side of us.

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

32 deg F at 3550'
34 deg F at 4500'
34 deg F at 3550'
38 deg F at 4500'
Calm to light winds from SE made it feel cooler than reported data at IM and Marmot.
No new precip since 11/14 storm.

Snow surface

No new snow since 11/14.
Snow surface consisted of graupel, partially decomposing low density snow, and some surface hoar.
Wind slabs were variable and patchy and mostly buried by 30 cm of soft snow. They are more exposed at ridgeline and upper elevation.


see pits

The crown near yesterday's human triggered avalanche varied from 20 to 70cm deep, had poor structure, low strength, and high propagation potential. The weak layer that failed in yesterday's avalanche was 1.5 to 2mm faceted snow that failed near the ground.

Photos & Video
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