Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: Low elevation tours around Independence Mine parking lot

Route & General Observations

AAS Level 2 course gathered snowpack information below 3400′ on W Marmot, E Eldorado & N $1,000 Run.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger0
Avalanche Type Dry Loose SnowAspect West Northwest
Elevation 4200ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidth 50ft
Vertical Run 800ft  
Avalanche Details

Observed loose natural on one of the gullies on West face of Marmot. Did not see the starting zone well enough to give specifics, so most data estimations. Speculating wind as a trigger.

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

Localized whumphing at low elevation.

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

Skies obscured all day.
Temps 15-20F, quite warm after yesterday's deep freeze.
Calm winds midday, but started picking up later in the afternoon.
LIght snow started 1300, rate S1 when leaving parking lot 1630.

Snow surface

Soft surface of faceted decomposing snow in low elevations.


HS 45-95cm, so still shallow continental snowpack at Hatcher. Variable general layering; in most places snowpack was unconsolidated and faceted; other places we found discontinuous midpack windslab.
Main layer of concern was ~30cm of depth hoar. Snowpack has moderate strength, moderate propagation propensity and poor structure.
Example test results: PST 15-45/100 @ top of depth hoar. ECTP25SC@top of depth hoar. CT20Q2@ below windslab on 18 deg slope.

Photos & Video
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