Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: Microdot

Route & General Observations

Toured up from Independence Mine lot towards the Microdot W ridge with the goal of digging a full pit on a southerly aspect and skiing the light new snow! Skied two laps on the main S face of microdot and then skied the north face/nosebleeds, to Gold Cord and then out towards the mine. A quite wonderful Winter Solstice!

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierRemote Trigger No
Avalanche Type Soft SlabAspect North
Elevation 4600ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown Depth 15inWidth 5ft
Vertical Run 20ft  
Avalanche Details

Skied down a rib on the north face of Microdot towards Gold Cord and after skiing down a couple hundred feet, I triggered a small soft slab avalanche at the convex of a steep rollover. Slab broke underfoot and avalanche moved very slow. After it was triggered, I was able to immediately get to a safe zone without being effected by the debris at all. Debris was very loose and consisted of the new ~15in of snow sitting on top of the old windslab surface that showed unstable results in my pit earlier in the day (pit below).

Additionally, observed the debris of a skier triggered dry loose avalanche on a steeper section of the Microdot south face. Seemed the skier was able to traverse out and was safe. (pic below)

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 dry loose avalanches on all aspects and observed the previously reported, widely propagating slab avalanches.
No whumphs or cracks observed.

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

9am at the car @ 3085'
Calm winds, few clouds, -13°C
10:30am at pit location @ 4025'
Calm winds, few clouds, -14°C

Snow surface

Approx 35-40cm of new, dry, low density snow. Amazing to ski!
Surface grains were observed to be primarily near-surface-facets mixed with decomposing stellars


Dug a pit to ground on a south aspect at 4025' adjacent to the Microdot west ridge. Pit profile attached below
STE 15cm down on a layer of flat laying, intact stellars in the new snow
CT6 Progresive Compression 15cm down x2 (same layer as shovel tilt test failure)
CT12 Sudden Planar 42cm down x2 (new snow/wind slab interface and layer of failure in skier triggered avalanche mentioned above)
CT16 Sudden Collapse 114cm down x2 (in a ~10cm thick layer of large rounding depth hoar grains)
ECTP23 Sudden Collapse 42cm down

Photos & Video
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