Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Willow side of Hatcher Pass proper- backside of Eldorado bowl

Route & General Observations

A large slide was noted to have happened in the recent past. The pictures do not do it justice. The slide was very thick with plates of snow. The crown appeared to be two or three feet thick. I placed my sled at the toe to give size reference. The thickness of the slide was at least three feet. It appeared that most of it had slid on top of the thick layer crust I walked through. This was a southwest facing slope. High winds were noted in the area to be from all different directions depending on which valley you were in. Be careful out there!

Contact, Location & General Observations
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Forecaster Comments

This avalanche was observed on the moto side of Eldorado bowl and most likely happened early morning the 14th.

Avalanche Details
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Avalanche Details

This wind slab was reported as being approximately 3 ft deep at thickest part of the crown. Other few, small naturals were observed that day while riding but this was by far the largest avalanche reported that day on the Willow side.

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

Weak layer about 1 - 2 feet down depending on where you were at in the very windy valley.

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

Partly cloudy with 0-40 mph winds from almost all directions depending on what slope you were on. West at the pass summit, north in the main valley and very strong west in the valley of the slide.

Snow surface

crust, wind blown, weak layer 1 to 2 feet down.


Snowpack varied significantly from place to place depending on old tracks, wind loading and some untouched snow.

Photos & Video
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