Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Eldorado Bowl/Skyscraper and Bennets ridge/$1000 run

Route & General Observations

Toured up Eldorado Bowl to the top of Skyscraper Peak to assess stability and riding conditions on all aspects. Strong ESE winds gusting up to 40+mph were actively transporting faceted snow onto leeward aspects. Cooler temps over the past few days have slightly faceted some snow surfaces and improved the quality from very poor to fair! We observed a large human triggered wind slab on a NW aspect on upper $1000 run that was triggered on Sunday. No cracking, collapsing, or recent avalanches observed today.
Dot on the map is the location of the avalanche from Sunday. More details in obs.


Avalanche Details
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Avalanche Details

We did a profile and some stability testing at the flank of an avalanche that was human triggered on Sunday 3/19 on a NW aspect at 4000'. The avalanche was approximately 150' wide by 200' long and 4 inches to 2 feet thick at the crown. Debris was pencil hard with blocks ranging from 4 inches to 12 inches thick and approximately 4 to 5 ft deep. Most of the crown was already filled back in from wind over the past 24-48 hours. HS at the flank was deeper than 300cm from continuous wind loading. The avalanche failed on a smooth, firm crust.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

We did observe active wind loading throughout the entire day as sharp facets were being transported from E aspects and loading SW thru NW aspects. Little to no low density snow exists for transport after several days of wind.
We did not observe and recent avalanches, cracking or collapsing.

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

No new snow since 2/28.

E winds gusting 20-31 mph for 5 hours at IM 3550'.
E winds 15-21 mph, gusting 23-39 mph for 11 hours at 4500'. The most significant part of the day was descending Skyscraper ridge holding our hats from blowing off with one hand and navigating severe sandblasting on our faces as facets were being transported by the wind.

Temps hovered around 20degF at 4500'.

Snow surface

Variable snow surfaces include firm and breakable sun crust to eroded anti-tracks with stiff to breakable thin windslab to faceted pockets of low angle terrain. Conditions are great for training on Denali or honing in your technical skills.


See pit profile for Eldorado Bowl

Avalanche from Sunday on NW aspect, 4000' , upper $1000 run
150 feet wide by 200' long
Crown 4" to 2-3ft deep
Debris estimated at 4-5 feet deep
Failed on facets on smooth crust 30 cm deep
CT17 PC 30cm down

Photos & Video
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