Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: $1000 Run & Bennett's Ridge

Route & General Observations

Up $1000 Run and down Bennet’s Ridge to the road. Gorgeous sunny day to ski some rocks!

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierRemote Trigger0
Avalanche Type Hard SlabAspect West
Elevation 4000ftSlope Angle 38deg
Crown Depth 12inWidth 50ft
Vertical Run 250ft  
Avalanche Details

Observed the remotely triggered 12/19 HS-ASr-R4-D1.5 on West aspect of Bennetts Ridge. Appeared to be wind slab breaking on or sliding on a knife hard 1 mm crust (see photo). The pencil hard wind slab ranged from .75 -1.5 ft thick and sat over a very thin weak layer, perhaps a cm thick of P- rounding facets, which was on top of knife hard 1 mm crust. Under the crust was pencil hard snow. We did not dig further down but did a CT and could not get the wind slab to budge near the crown.

From $1000 Run, we noticed what may have been a skier remote triggered avalanche on a NE aspect at ~3,800 ft on Hatch Peak (see photo). The avalanche looked to have been triggered as the skier was skiing down and propagated up from the track and across quite a ways. It looked to be a hard slab that was several hundred feet across and ran several hundred feet. We did not go to see the bed surface as there was quite a bit of pillowed hang fire and we got a very large shooting crack near the vicinity of the base of the avalanche.

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

Lots of whumphing and shooting cracks on the flats. One large, easily triggered shooting crack on a rollover off $1000 Run.

Weather & Snow Characteristics
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Light variable winds, no precip., sunny skies.

Snow surface

Wind affected snow everywhere, ranging from breakable crust to supportable knife hard, to sastrugi. A thin crust was found widely distributed (see photo). Many places on $1000 Run had been stripped to bare tundra that were not previously exposed.


Typical structure found in hand pits were 4F to P hard wind slab over 2-3mm depth hoar. Occasionally a crust would be found above the depth hoar, with 4F to F hard faceted snow between the crust and the wind slab.

Photos & Video
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