Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: Eldorado Bowl

Route & General Observations

Up Eldorado from the Independence Mine Lot, in an effort to maximize sunlight & good visibility. Objective was to look at snowpack structure in the upper elevation zone on north and south aspects. Observed numerous small, human triggered, loose dry avalanches on terrain steeper than 40 degrees on multiple aspects. These sluffs were fairly manageable, but still contain the power to sweep you off your feet or intended trajectory.

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 SkierRemote Trigger No
Avalanche Type Dry Loose SnowAspect North Northeast
Elevation 4500ftSlope Angle 42deg
Crown DepthunknownWidth 25ft
Vertical Run 400ft  
Avalanche Details

Small human triggered loose dry sluffs on terrain steeper than 40 degrees. This event was on Skyscraper Mountain off the summit ridge into Eldorado Bowl. Avalanches ran within the 6 to 8 inches of new unconsolidated snow.

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

Clear with no wind. Temperatures were single digits in the low elevations with teens on the upper elevation ridgelines.

Snow surface

6 to 8 inches of unconsolidated snow from the storm ending on 12/12. I observed in-tact stellar snow crystals on the surface.


On a northern aspect at 4200 feet I found the snowpack to be around 280cm/110 inches deep. I dug below a leeward ridgeline feature in a snow deposition area, and found good stability in the upper half of the snowpack. Considering time and daylight I did not dig to the ground, but could probe to the ground where I could feel unconsolidated snow grains. The recent human triggered avalanches have been running within the new loose snow, some would refer to them as sluffs.

Photos & Video
Please upload photos below. Maximum of 5 megabytes per image. Click here for help on resizing images. If you are having trouble uploading please email images separately to staff.