Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: Near 4068

Route & General Observations

My friend and I were relegated to skiing the lower Government Peak area due to suspicions of the snowpack’s stability, obvious wind effect, and signs of recent natural avalanches observed on eastern aspects. On our tour, we saw two skiers touring up toward 4068. For a moment, we were wishing we’d gone over there in hopes of finding a longer more powdery run. Alas…
We toured to the base of Frostbite ridge and on any slightly steeper slopes, we were finding hard slabs. We decided to keep it mellow and went for some low angle turns in the meadows. On the way down, we stopped and looked back at 4068 and we saw that a slab avalanche had occurred. Upon closer investigation, we saw two people touring away from the avalanche. We watched for a while and checked to see if we could pick anyone up on the radio. No luck. The people went back toward the avalanche and then toured on the bed surface. We heard first responders coming up the road. There was nothing much we could do from where we were so we finished our ride out to the parking lot. Looking back from the parking lot, we could see the party involved in the avalanche continue touring up toward the peak. We reflected on our decision making process and were glad that we listened to our instincts about the snow and chose the path we did.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierRemote Trigger0
Avalanche Type Hard SlabAspect East
ElevationunknownSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidthunknown
Vertical Rununknown  
Avalanche Details

Human triggered, possible remote trigger.
Elevation: Approx 3000-3300ft
Slight concavity

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

Wind effect

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

Nice day! Sunny, warm, new snow

Snow surface

New snow


Informal stability tests, found some hard slabs in specific locations

Photos & Video
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