Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: Gold cord lake

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
If this is an avalanche observation, click yes below and fill in the form as best as you can. If people were involved, please provide details.
Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger0
Avalanche Type Soft SlabAspect West Northwest
Elevation 4300ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidthunknown
Vertical Rununknown  
Avalanche Details

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

Cold! 6 degrees, bluebird

Snow surface

Gorgeous 6"of pow on supportable for skiing


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
Please upload photos below. Maximum of 5 megabytes per image. Click here for help on resizing images. If you are having trouble uploading please email images separately to staff.