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Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: Independence Bowl Area

Date:
Observer:
Route & General Observations

Toured up towards Microdot, Rae Wallace bowl, and over towards Murphy Lake to check out new snow from 3/6 and look at solar heating on southerly aspects.

 

 

Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalAvalanche Type Dry Loose Snow
Aspect SouthElevationunknown
Slope Angle 38degCrown Depthunknown
WidthunknownVertical Rununknown
Avalanche Details

Observed dozens of natural sluffs on all aspects, mostly at mid and upper elevation, on slopes above 40 deg. Sluffs ranged from D1 to D2 and ran on sun crusts on southerly aspects and old wind slabs on leeward aspects.
Observed one human triggered soft slab below Marmot Ridge, W aspect 4500' (SS-AS-D1.5-O) likely from 3/4 or 3/5.

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

Significant warming on southerly aspects , especially slopes with high angle of incidence. New surface snow warmed up througout the day enough to make a snowball. Observed one natural sluff on Microdot south aspect at 2pm. One natural sluff in Nosehairs south aspect 2-3pm.
No other signs of instability today.

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

Sunny and beautiful. 6" new snow from 3/6. Calm wind. 14 deg at 4505' at 2pm. 18deg at 3505' at 2pm. Warm enough for gals to skin in sports bras.

Snow surface

6" or more of new low density snow over fragile sun crusts, last week's faceted snow, and old wind crusts.
New snow glopping up, sticking to skins, and forming snowballs by 2pm on southerly aspects.

Snowpack

HS 155cm at 4000' S aspect
Valentines Day slab and persistent weak layer getting buried deeper and deeper. Found at 35 cm in this pit.
Multiple sun/melt-freeze crusts mixed with faceted snow, on top of buried deteriorating old melt freeze crust near the ground.
10 cm (4") Warming surface snow failing easily over new snow.

Photos & Video
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