Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: Marmot

Route & General Observations

Nice day. Sunny. Skied NW, SW, and SE aspects on Marmot Ridge. Good snow in most places. Lots of sluff and skier triggered avy kicked off on steep NW ridgeline.

Avalanche Details
If this is an avalanche observation, click yes below and fill in the form as best as you can. If people were involved, please provide details.
Trigger SkierRemote Trigger No
Avalanche Type Soft SlabAspect Northwest
Elevation 4200ftSlope Angle 45deg
Crown Depth 10inWidth 125ft
Vertical Run 400ft  
Avalanche Details

Triggered soft slab halfway down NW facing Rae Wallace ridge/spine run in recent snow layer immediately skiers right of the steep NW facing up track. Snow broke in an unsupported area and shed on either side of the ridge, coming to a rest well down the apron. Bed surface seemed like a thin rain crust. Slab was 10" deep +/- . Entrained more snow than expected, maybe due to how soft the surface snow was. Avy ran fast and far enough to kick up a powder cloud. Debris might've been approx 2-4 ft deep in places. Of the 3 similar lines our party skied today, this was the only one which slid. No issues for skiers involved in this case - slab broke below skiers feet.

This was a good reminder to minimize exposure/risk to 1 person at a time - 2 of 4 party members were spectating the next skier who triggered the slide. They had less than 10 seconds to get off the apron before the avalanche would have overcome them - had they not been paying attention, had skis off, not listening to radio alert - that could created a worse situation.

Noticed 1 new, skier triggered, avy closer to HP Lodge on Marmot NW ridge when we skied out. Now seeing there was a 3rd avy reported by HPAC, again further west along the Rae Wallace face.

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

Recent skier triggered avalanches.

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

Nice. Windy on ridgetops. Felt hot on Marmot west face, with wet surface snow around 5 PM.

Snow surface

Soft settled powder on north-ish aspects. Denser snow on west and south east aspects.


No formal tests. Cornices were not stubborn to break at the new-old snow interface 10" down, but did not step down.

Photos & Video
Please upload photos below. Maximum of 5 megabytes per image. Click here for help on resizing images. If you are having trouble uploading please email images separately to staff.