Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: Marmot SW face

Route & General Observations

Fishhook Lot to SW face Marmot. Traveled road before and after tour to make road observations.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierRemote Trigger Unknown
Avalanche Type Soft SlabAspect Southeast
Elevation 3200ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown Depth 12inWidth 50ft
Vertical Run 70ft  
Near Miss / Accident Details
Number Caught/Carried? 1Number Partially Buried? 1
Number Fully Buried?0Number Injured?0
Number Fatalities?0  
Avalanche Details

Skier triggered avalanche on SE aspect of Vice Presidents on Marmot Mountain. 1st skier triggered the slide.

Rescue events

No one injured. Skier was buried in debris waist deep, but they were able to easily self extricate. Some lost gear was found. Multiple people on site, but caught skier was able to self extricate.

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

We did not see significant signs of instability in the terrain where we toured. No avalanches, no cracking, no collapsing. No ski cut results at upper elevation SW aspects on slopes 40 degrees in steepness. The new snow was not acting as a slab, and lacked any cohesion. It was low density, fist hard and fluffy.

We did see signs of instability elsewhere, including numerous recent natural storm slab and dry loose avalanches. One party reported more small storm slab avalanches than they could count in an upper bowl on the south side of Marmot.

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

Partly cloudy, broken skies trending towards scattered in the afternoon. Improved visibility from 1-4pm.
Around 16F in the afternoon.
Calm to light southeast winds.

Snow surface

Approximately 10-12 inches of new snow.


We believe our forecast was off by a bit today.
We think the hazard was actually Moderate for Storm Slab, Loose Dry, not considerable.
Human triggered avalanches were still possible in specific areas, just not likely in many areas.
The new snow was low density and lacked wind or warm temperatures to allow for cohesion that would otherwise result in a more active slab avalanche problem in conjunction with the current structure in the rest of the snowpack.
Slope testing was minimal as most people made conservative terrain choices and few people were in the backcountry.
The only avalanche reported today was a human triggered soft slab avalanche on Vice Presidents. See pictures.

Photos & Video
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