Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: Archangel Valley

Route & General Observations

Took advantage of another day in the sunshine on Hatcher Pass. Conditions were excellent with soft snow and few snowmachiners out Archangel Valley. The trail from Fishhook lot to Gold Mint is smoothed in, thanks to AK State Parks and Hatcher Pass Snow Riders Club, and access is getting better for more challenging & enjoyable terrain. Observed 4 small natural loose dry avalanches in isolated & extreme terrain on south facing aspects.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger No
Avalanche Type Dry Loose SnowAspect South
Elevation 4400ftSlope Angle 46deg
Crown Depth 1inWidth 30ft
Vertical Run 100ft  
Avalanche Details

Four natural small Loose Dry avalanches were seen on several different south facing slopes In Archangel Valley and towards Reed Lakes. These look to be only involving surface snow and were confined to terrain steeper than 40 degrees in isolated locations of the upper elevations. Only one of the small avalanches looked like it recently occurred.

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

Clear and cold with temps around 10F degrees. Light winds from the northeast with no blowing snow.

Snow surface

Soft, dry, and covered with 1-2mm surface hoar. Coverage is variable with powder lumps covering large rocks in many locations.


In many riding locations the snowpack depth is over three feet. On aspects that face southeast you are likely to find 3-4 inch slabs of 1Finger hardness, wind firmed snow that has unconsolidated snow beneath. Cows parsnip and alders still poke through the shallow areas and creeks are not the most visible in the shadows. Avoid protruding snow lumps and terrain traps with this early season riding conditions.

Photos & Video
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