Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Frostbite

Route & General Observations

Toured up from the mile 10 pullout through Japanese Trees and Upper Glades, turning north to Frostbite and Seldom Seen. Skinning was difficult in the trees as the snow was heavy, wet, and icy. All of Gov/Frostbite ridge were covered in deep cut sastrugi and a thin layer of ice. As we skinned north we came across the debris of the large D2-3 avalanches that released during the Valentines Day storm which ripped down to the dirt and created ~10ft tall sidewalls. As we made it onto Frostbite ridge above Skeetawk we ran into the surface ice crust and decided to dig a pit on the northern aspect of the ridge in a less wind effected spot(results below). We skied the ridge down and then started skinning into Seldom Seen. The ice crust was widespread throughout the valley. Observed crowns and debris of several avalanches, one of them possibly a D3+ across the north faces of Frostbite ridge and Government Peak. Skied a lower bench below the ridge between 4068 and 4600 and made our way back to the car through Japanese Trees.

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

Old avalanche from Valentines Storm at 3600 ft on a north aspect :
Natural , soft slab, crown 3.5ft , 500 ft wide, ran approx 700 ft
On the north face of Frostbite Ridge we saw the crowns and debris of a massive avalanche that triggered multiple sympathetic releases across the whole rocky face. The main headwall seemed to be 3+ feet tall and spanned across the whole face. The debris seemed to have came down quick as the creek was completely filled in and debris had launched up over the other side of the creek leaving decent sized snowballs at the base of the 4068 ridge. Several other crowns were observed along the rocky north face of Government Peak. The release seemed to of happened during the Valentines Day storm, failing on the new/old snow interface. Pics below

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

Partly cloudy to sunny, little to no wind, ~27 degrees F

Snow surface

Thin ice crust on top of heavy snow from the previous storms, some sections of both supportable and breakable windslabs.


Dug one pit on a N aspect of Frostbite ridge and another on a southern aspect in Seldom Seen, pit profiles below
TL:DR - Frostbite Pit: CT16-27, DTH 28, total depth 235cm
-Seldom Seen Pit: ECTN9-23, total depth 155cm

Photos & Video
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