Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: Hatch Peak Zone

Route & General Observations

We toured up the road to the top of Hatch Peak. We then skied a short North facing line near April Bowl. After that we skied down Bennet’s Ridge back down to the truck. HS is approximately 75cm in the upper elevations and much thinner lower down. Lots of folks out enjoying the beautiful day. Variable skiing conditions; best skiing was in the small elevation band between the lower elevation rain crust and upper elevation wind board.


Contact, Location & General Observations
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Forecaster Comments

-Heads Up! for early season avalanche problems. This is a set up for a tricky start to the season.
-Multiple recent D2 natural avalanches (capable of injuring/burying people) occurred during or shortly after the 11/8 storm.
-Propagation, poor structure and reports of recent avalanches and remotely triggered avalanches should be a big heads up for near term future backcountry travel.
-Recent wind loading was a significant factor in overloading weak layers within the basal snowpack.
-Propagation in stability tests point to a sustained dangerous avalanche problem. These weak layers and avalanche problem will persist.
-The storm forecasted for Monday appears to be on a storm track with dynamics capable of producing heavy precipitation for Hatcher Pass.
-Another rapid load on this snowpack will likely re-activate the current problem weak layers and result in continued elevated avalanche hazard.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger Unknown
Avalanche Type UnknownAspect Unknown
ElevationunknownSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidthunknown
Vertical Rununknown  
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)?No
Observer Comments

Multiple parties reported extensive and heavy whumping. One party we spoke to stated they remote triggered a small avalanche. Obvious signs of wind loading from yesterday's ESE wind pulse.

Test results showed propagation in ECT.

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

Very pleasant day in the mountains. Broken clouds with glorious sun emerging towards the end of the day. Marmot Station was recording temps in the high teens with light airs from the East (ish) for the duration of our tour.

IM Snowtel had about 0.8in of SWE with about 7-8in of new snow with the 11/8/23 storm.

Notably Marmot Station recorded a pulse of very strong winds (30-49mph) from the SE in the late afternoon yesterday (11/9).

Snow surface

Variable. Thin zipper rain crust below 3200ft. Above 3200ft snow surface consisted of wind board, exposed rain crust, powder, rocks, avalanche debris, and tundra.


We dug one snow pit near Hatch Peak at 4200ft on a 30 degree NNE slope. This slope was cross loaded and had wind effect.

HS 75cm
Test Results:
CT Moderate RP down 40cm on a rain crust with developed facets on top
ECTP21 on same layer as above. Pop and Drop. This is a concerning test pit result.

Evidence of mid storm cornice falls. Evidence of natural avalanches to D2.

Photos & Video
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