Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: Archangel to Fairangel Valley

Route & General Observations

Snowmachined then skied up Archangel Valley to Fairangel Valley to assess springtime warming on southerly aspects and attempt to find dry low density snow on north aspects.The only signs of instability were recent small natural wet loose sluffs that we observed on southeast and south aspects on steep slopes all all elevations beginning at 12:30pm.

Avalanche Details
If this is an avalanche observation, click yes below and fill in the form as best as you can. If people were involved, please provide details.
Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger Unknown
Avalanche Type Wet Loose SnowAspect Southeast
Elevation 4600ftSlope Angle 40deg
Crown DepthunknownWidthunknown
Vertical Rununknown  
Avalanche Details

We observed numerous natural D1 wet loose sluffs in steep terrain on SE and S aspects beginning at 12:30pm . None of these were large enough to bury, injure, or kill a person but they sure could tweek a knee or ruin your day if caught and carried.

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

Recent wet loose sluffs

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

No new snow since 3/4
Calm winds today
Temperatures reached 33*F on Marmot @4500', 30* at IM @ 3550', and 34*F at Frostbite @ 2700'. It felt hot in the sunshine and cool in the shade. It definitely was a day for shedding layers, wearing shades, and almost time to bring the glopper stopper in the pack.

Snow surface

Snow surfaces are extremely variable due to a dramatic shift in the weather. Temperatures today felt like April, not March. It is easy to make a snowball on steep southerly aspects while low angle southerly slopes remain sun softened and great skiing. Thin breakable wind skins exist on leeward upper elevation aspects near ridgeline, and where winds challeled through Fairangel Valley during the short duration wind event 3/17-18. In protected locations on leeward aspects, soft faceted snow remains but not for long if temps continue to warm up.


no formal pits were dug
hand shears and pole tests showed no signs of instability today

Photos & Video
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