Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: Frostbite and Lower elevation

Route & General Observations

Toured from low elevation up towards Frostbite to about 3500′. Snow surfaces were moist to wet on approach at 10am and punchy on south aspects below 2500′ by noon. No recent avalanches observed in the morning. On the drive down, observed 4 natural wet loose/wet slab avalanches on S/SE aspects at approx. 1200′ at the road cut and near the avalanche gate. Significant warming was observed today with a high of 45deg F at 3200′ at 1400.


Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger Unknown
Avalanche Type Wet SlabAspect South Southeast
Elevation 1200ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidthunknown
Vertical Run 300ft  
Avalanche Details

Observed 4 wet loose avalanches that triggered wet slabs at low elevation today. All were naturals that likely happened between 1-2 pm. The avalanches failed at the crust and/or near the ground and debris stopped close to the road. Debris from the wet slabs (that occurred near the avalanche gate) took out some alders and other trees on its path. Although these paths are small, the avalanches are an indictor of instability at low elevation and what to expect soon at mid elevation. We have not seen these paths run this far before.

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

Recent natural avalanches at low elevation on south and southeast aspects near lower road.
Few day old persistent slabs on west aspect on the Willow side of Hatcher Pass. See photos.

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 4/4
Calm winds today
Temps are the big red flag!
4500'- froze overnight, high of 40deg F today
3550'-hovered around freezing overnight, high of 35degF at IM. 45deg F measured on Frostbite at 1400 at 3200'.
2700'-above freezing for several nights, high of 42deg F today
*Lack of freezing for 3-4 nights at 2700'

Snow surface

Snow surfaces are wet up to 2500' and moist up to 3200' on south aspects. Crusts are melting mid day and are sun softened above 3500' on E to W aspects. Pole penetration is up to 12" deep in moist to wet snow up to 3000'.


see pit

Photos & Video
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