Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Friendship Pass

Route & General Observations

Toured up to Cross Hill towards Gold Chord Peak, noticed D1 and D2 slab avalanches that looked to have occurred some time after the New Year’s storm on a SE aspect just NE of Birthday Pass (pictured below). Diverted towards Friendship Pass to get a closer look. Discovered another D1 slab avalanche that also has occurred some time after the New Year’s storm cycle on a NE aspect S of Friendship Pass. Observed possible skier triggered D1 avalanche from today on SW aspect of Gold Cord Peak.

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

Possible skier triggered D1 avalanche from today on SW aspect of Gold Cord Peak at 5250'. Hard to tell from our perspective if it was loose dry or a soft slab. Spoke to skier, skier mentioned debris below NE aspect of Gold Cord Peak, but they were unable to see a crown. Skier mentioned a noticeable slab at upper elevations on SW aspect of Gold Cord Peak.

Easy to initiate small loose dry avalanches on steep test slopes.

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

NNW wind 4 gusting to 6 mph at Independence Mine SNOTEL, temperature in the single digits. Clear skies. No precipitation.

Snow surface

Very small near surface facets over settled powder. No noticeable wind effect.


Dug on similar aspect to possible skier triggered avalanche, but much lower elevation.

Pit at 4500', SW aspect, 30* slope. HS ~= 100 cm. CT20SC, CT21SC, CT21SC down 40 cm under a P hard slab on 1mm facets sitting over a 1F bed surface. ECTP26, PST 83/100 END on this layer. Did not find buried surface hoar at this location.

Photos & Video
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