Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Willow Creek

Route & General Observations

We hunted on skis on the West side of Hatcher Pass near Bullion Mountain.
There is a very responsive, but discontinuous crust layer under about 1ft+ of soft snow.
Very loose snow made for deep trail breaking everywhere, generally boot deep.
Where the crust is absent ski penetration while skinning is knee to thigh deep.
Where the crust is present the whumpfs are large and frequent.
Several whumpfs remote triggered shooting cracks on steep rollovers and cutbanks on creeks (some examples pictured). Had these slopes been taller I’m sure they would have avalanched. It might be reasonable to assume that steeper slopes along Upper Willow Creek and Dog Sled Pass have similar active snowpacks that can remote trigger.

Contact, Location & General Observations
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Forecaster Comments

According to IM data and boots on the ground Saturday, it looks like HP received 10-12" of new snow 12/18.

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

Snowed about 3" in the morning before the light winds switched from SE to NW, blue skies overhead after that.

Photos & Video
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