Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: Pinnacle valley

Route & General Observations

We toured from Independence mine up the road to Pinnacle Valley. 8-9 inches of new snow and poor visibility. Snow was falling lightly at 9 a.m. and decreased during the morning. Winds were minimal. For most of the tour we had no whumps or cracks, just deep track setting.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierRemote Trigger Yes
Avalanche Type Hard SlabAspect West Southwest
Elevation 4900ftSlope Angle 25deg
Crown DepthunknownWidth 30ft
Vertical Run 50ft  
Avalanche Details

After getting to the base of Pinnacle with no whumps, cracks, or visible natural avalanches , we decided to check out the chute on Pinnacle in hopes of finding it protected enough from the previous nights wind. Visibility was getting better but still not great. After about half way up the apron from the knob, we could start to feel some wind slab with pole tests, it was around 4 inches thick but covered with 4 inches of lower density snow from the morning. We also could detect some older avalanche debris up in the chute which seemed to extend to the south side of the apron. We decided to climb to the top of the apron and return. About 2/3 of the way up the apron we felt a whump, then a second later another whump, and then saw the avalanche above and to the side side of us, near the top of the apron just below the chute, maybe 50 ft away from my partner. It ran down the apron around 30 feet, and maybe 60 feet down the gulley to the north. Crown maybe12 to 18 inches but we didn't ascend to look closely. We turned around and enjoyed picking our way down with good skiing and improving visibility. The slope angle where we were standing was around 25, but it was probably steeper up where the crown was as there looked like a rollover near the rock.

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