Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Eldorado Bowl and Skyscraper Peak

Route & General Observations

We took advantage of the calm gorgeous weather to assess old wind slab activity from 1/6-7 and snow surface conditions. We found debris from a few old windslabs in Eldorado Bowl that were partially buried by 3″ of new snow from 1/8. We saw a few 1-2 day old natural small dry loose sluffs and observed several small human triggered slow moving sluffs. No whumping or cracking was observed today.

Contact, Location & General Observations
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Forecaster Comments

Updated info from the party who triggered the wind slab in Eldorado bowl on 1/7.
"The slab ended up being like 16-18 inches deep when it broke and slid. No burials or anything. Just a spike in heart rate.
We were standing on it when it broke from above us. My buddy in the photo was probably 3 ft below the cornice, and I was below him another 3ft. It broke from the base of the cornice and everything from the cornice to another few feet below me broke apart like puzzles pieces and simultaneously slid downhill. As observed, we approached the cornice from a shallower angle so the slide stopped almost as quickly as it started, looked like about 10ft at the time. Then we dug our way through the cornice to gain the ridge. We bailed pretty quickly after that and someone triggered another small slab on our way down. That one was a much steeper angle and longer downhill run but petered out without consuming anyone."

Avalanche Details
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Avalanche Details

We observed several small, slow moving dry loose sluffs. Sluffs were larger (but still not capable of burying injuring or killing a person) on southerly aspects with firm bed surfaces.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

No recent slab avalanches, cracking or whumping today.

Weather & Snow Characteristics
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The most recent storm brought 3" of snow on 1/8.
Calm to light winds today.
Temperatures were cooler today and ranged from 12-15 deg F at 4500'.

Snow surface

Surface hoar was observed on many snow surfaces from clear cold calm weather over the past couple days.
Snow surfaces vary between dust on crust to 3" new snow over faceted snow on top of old firm or decomposing wind slabs. In many locations, firm bed surfaces and or thin wind crusts can be felt while skiing or riding. Ridges are scoured or scalloped on windward aspects and loaded on leeward aspects just below ridgeline. More protected locations harness good ski and riding quality.


Numerous hand pits and pole tests revealed stubborn old wind slabs 4-6" deep varying from 1- 4" thick with no alarming results today.
No formal pits were dug today.

Photos & Video
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