Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: Eldorado Bowl-Avalanche

Route & General Observations

Very busy and sunny day in Hatcher Pass. Great skiing. Low avalanche hazard rating on Saturday.

Toured up Eldorado Bowl, then up to the SE rib of skyscraper, then up to the summit of skyscraper, then skied back down into Eldorado Bowl.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierRemote Trigger No
Avalanche Type UnknownAspect Northeast
Elevation 4600ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidthunknown
Vertical Rununknown  
Avalanche Details

Video summary and photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/bYcCMPpecVPAzJPR7

At about 1:40PM, a skier initiated a slide when they landed off a cliff. They skied off the edge of the slab. No one else was near the slope at that time.

About 20 people had already skied that bowl, though they were all more in the gut of the bowl. After discussion, the 4 witnesses at the bottom concluded that this slide was probably most likely due to the skier 1. finding a thin rocky spot and 2. landing off the cliff pretty hard.

That bowl was probably wind loaded, but the snow surface was light unconsolidated pow. No shooting cracks or obvious signs of slabs. In that photo album above, I included an unrelated video of my partner skiing so you can get a sense of the snow quality.

I didn't put in numbers for the crown depth, width, and vertical run, because you can see in the pictures as well as I could. I will leave it to a more experienced forecaster to estimate these based off the photos.

Events of the day

Notably, the avalanche danger rating was low on Saturday, so I think this led to people being a bit bold and riding fairly serious lines. This slide really caught us off guard.

15 minutes before the slide, my partner and I skied the same bowl along with about 8 other people. There were several times when people from separate parties almost dropped in at the same time. That would have been bad, exposing multiple people to the potential hazard. On busy days, watch out for other people that you normally don't have to think about!

Rescue events

None needed.

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Observer Comments

None, before the avalanche.

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

Sunny and a tiny bit breezy. 15-20 degrees F??

Snow surface

12 inches settled pow on a hard crust, I assume wind board.


Didn't do any digging.

Photos & Video
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