Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: North side 4600, half way up

Route & General Observations

Up ridge to 4600, blue sky, mild temps, foot of snow, wind steady out of south maybe 15mph, significant transport into north side. Skied other side. Climbed back up, another party of three had skied the north next to our tracks from day before. They had cut some sensitive fresh wind slab at top, with propagation. One of our group did some checking, and triggered more fresh wind slab, and got a sympathetic larger release, next chute up, went all the way past lower rock cliff. Went back to Women’s run, not wind affected, couple runs in nice snow. Heads up for wind slab.

Contact, Location & General Observations
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Forecaster Comments

Just a reminder that winds can very easily move light density snow and build reactive wind slabs. Keep your avalanche eyeballs peeled, do not fall into complacency. Pay close attention to wind speeds, wind flagging, surface texture, and any "drummy" or hollow feeling snow. A slope that did not have wind effect yesterday, may today.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierRemote Trigger0
Avalanche Type Soft SlabAspect North
Elevation 4200ftSlope Angle 38deg
Crown Depth 12inWidthunknown
Vertical Rununknown  
Avalanche Details

Intentional triggered, soft slab, reactive, propagation to adjacent slopes, fast moving, powder blast visible behind lower rock cliff bench.

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)?Yes
Observer Comments

Active wind loading, foot of loose snow rapidly transporting. Other party triggered soft slab at scarp loading zone.

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

Blue sky, mild temps, steady south wind 15 mph. Been skiing it for days, but wind was game changer

Snow surface

Settled powder around a foot, supportive, few rocks hit, but they are about. Willow wickets at lower elev.


No pit, foot of powder with no wind affect until now.