Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: Gold cord lake

Date:
Observer:
Route & General Observations

Third day of the Alaska Avalanche School level one course at Hatcher pass and our first clear day of visibility. Did a tour attempting first to get up to Pinnacle Basin, but turned around when six quick pits at the base of the approach all delivered ECTP15-20 on the basal facets. Counted 10 separate avalnches on this layer on the NW aspect of Microdot ridge. Toured over and attempted to get up to Gold Cord Lake via the lowest angle terrain to the right, got within 60 ft of the ridge and got a gigantic collapse that sent shooting cracks in both directions as far as the eye could see zippering between all the boulders. We turned around and went meadow dkipping near gold cord mine.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalAvalanche Type Soft Slab
Aspect West NorthwestElevation 4300ft
Slope AngleunknownCrown Depthunknown
WidthunknownVertical Rununknown
Observer Comments

Multiple avalanches on depth hoar in the steeper terrain off of microdot. Numerous small point releases on southerly aspects

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)?Yes
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?Yes
Observer Comments

I think all those avalanches occurred Thursday or Friday at the height of the storm winds. Just today was the first day we could see them!

Weather & Snow Characteristics
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Weather

Cold! 6 degrees, bluebird

Snow surface

Gorgeous 6"of pow on supportable for skiing

Snowpack

Ski penetration 20 cms, boot pen: C.D. (Crotch deep) . Numerous ECTs on multiple aspects and elevations over the weekend produced dramatic results consistently in the teens and always on the basal facets and depth hoar.

Photos & Video
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