Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: Avalanches near Stairstep/ Arkose ridgeline

Route & General Observations

Recent natural large avalanche today near Stairstep/Arkose ridgeline, approx 3500′ NNW aspect. Strong winds all day formed wind slabs that likely stressed deep persistent slab. Avalanche ran over 2000′ to the creek bed. The snowpack (and our community) has yet reached another tipping point.

Note: The Waterfall path (Arkose area across from Skeetak) ran on 3/20 (pictures below). The avalanche is the video below is a different avalanche and was observed on 3/29. HPAC will investigate today to gather more accurate information.


Contact, Location & General Observations
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Forecaster Comments

This avalanche should get the hairs on the back of your neck to stand up if corona hasn't already done that.
Of particular note: We haven't seen a large avalanche like this on a NNW aspect since 3/4. All the avalanches we've observed over the past month have been on E to S to W aspects.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger Unknown
Avalanche Type Soft SlabAspect North Northwest
Elevation 3500ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidthunknown
Vertical Run 2000ft  
Avalanche Details

Preliminary report of a new natural avalanche today. If you have more information, please contact us.
Two avalanches were reported near Staistep/ Arkose ridgeline across from Skeetak. First avy was on a NNW aspect 3500'(see video)
The second avalanche was reported on an opposing angle on a SW aspect at 3500' (see pic)
This event is separate from the Waterfall path that ran, in a similar area, also to the creek on 3/20.

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 avalanches from strong ENE/ESE winds and slab formation throughout the day.

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

Strong winds starting early Sunday morning at 1am. ENE/ESE 16-23 G 34-51 for about 15 hours at 4500' on Marmot. Winds were likely stronger than reported on Arkose ridgeline, to the south of Stairstep where avalanche occurred.

Snow surface

10" soft snow in protected locations from 3/21 available for transport.


No pit data.

Photos & Video
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