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Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: Marmot SW face

Date:
Observer:
Route & General Observations

Third party information:

This party ascended the south ridge of Marmot from the Fishhook lot. They did 4 runs on the SW face of Marmot. On the fourth run they triggered an avalanche. One person caught, carried and partially buried. The information in this observation is preliminary.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierAvalanche Type Soft Slab
Aspect SouthwestElevation 4100ft
Slope Angle 36degCrown Depth 24in
Width 60ftVertical Run 800ft
Avalanche Details

Crown estimated 1-2 feet deep by member of the party.
60 feet wide, 800 feet long.
First skier on slope triggered the avalanche while exiting a gully feature and crossing a convex slope. The avalanche easily overtook the skier and swept them to the base of the run. The victim were partially buried with their head above the snow surface. They triggered an airbag, which was also above the surface. Their legs were slightly above their head in the position of burial.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

One small whumph was observed on the ascent of the south ridge of marmot. They skied the standard SW face twice without any cracking, whumphing or avalanches. Pole tests showed a shallow snowpack which was mostly faceted with the new storm snow on top. No slab component observed.

Their third run was the "mid-rib", also no cr, co, or av.

A terrain progression was being followed. On the forth run, and more significant in size and steepness, the first skier triggered the avalanche while exiting the gully feature mid way down the face. As they crossed the gully and rode onto higher terrain, the avalanche was triggered and easily overtook the skier. He was swept to the base of the run. He triggered his airbag. He was partially buried with his head and airbag exposed. No injuries.

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

Approximately 10" of new snow accumulated from saturday evening to monday morning. It was a warming storm. A widespread, slight crust has been reported throughout HP.
Winds were generally light with some moderate gusts on sunday.

Snowpack

The most recent avalanche advisory was on Sunday, it was rated at CONSIDERABLE.
No formal instability tests were conducted, but hasty tests such as pole testing and hand tests were used.

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