Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: April bowl and Marmot

Route & General Observations

Skinned up peak $1000 run last Sunday and peak 4068 on Thursday. Both by the common skin track. Snow pack was fresh powder from latest storm with a bit of wind transfer. Stability was touch and go depending on aspect and slope angle.

But here is the real observation that I want to make. When we arriving at the saddle between the pass and April bowl we were welcomed by three snow machiners enjoying the new snow in April bowl. They then came up on the saddle meters away from my group so they could jump off the cornice HMMMM? Really? There were approximately 10 skiers on Hatch peak that morning and none of them were aware that snow machining was allowed in April bowl. The snow machiners then set several high marks in the bowl, one causing an avalanche. No one caught or injured. Then on Thursday we skinned up 4068 from Marmot parking lot and skied back down to the car to find that snow machine tracks were plentiful on Marmot, right next to the uptrack. HMMMM? Didn’t know that that area was open to riding. Then I dared look over at the base of Skyscrapper to discover another lovely high mark from a machine. Are we capable of managing ourselves and our groups or MUST we be managed by the MAN.

Contact, Location & General Observations
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Forecaster Comments

While some aspects of this observation may contain certain opinions that may relate to different user types, it nonetheless paints a picture of how concentrated Hatcher Pass can be and the potential for people to trigger avalanches in close proximity to other people. It’s important to remind ourselves that we are all recreating in tight quarters and we all bare the responsibility of safety by maintaining enough of a buffer to mitigate any chance of triggering an avalanche that could affect another party.

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)?No
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?No
Observer Comments

Wind loading, fresh storm snow, and unsettled powder

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

Perfect blue in the morning becoming cloudy in the afternonn

Photos & Video
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