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Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: SE Ridge, Marmot Mountain, Corporate Run

Route & General Observations

Ascended from MP 16 parking lot to 3960′ overlook at S end of Marmot Ridge. Descended SE ridge, Corporate Run. Very warm temperatures (51 F in the sun) at one meter above ground. Wet loose avalanche triggered by skier.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierAvalanche Type Wet Loose Snow
Aspect SoutheastElevation 3400ft
Slope Angle 34degCrown Depth 6in
Width 5ftVertical Run 300ft
Avalanche Details

Skier in party descended a bit too far to his right and triggered a sluff that was initially only 6 inches deep and 5 feet wide. However, this wet loose avalanche quickly gained mass and momentum. It ran several hundred feet into and down an adjoining gully expanding to ~ 10-15' wide and ~3' deep at its terminus.

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

Sluffs observed on southern aspects of Skyscraper Peak and point releases on SW aspect of lower President's Day Run (SE ridge on Marmot Mountain.) These southern exposures with steeper slope angles have a more direct angle of incidence to solar radiation.

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

Clear skies, temperature recorded at Marmot Wx station was 38F, winds calm. Air temperature at one meter above ground at 3600' was 51 F in the sun!

Snow surface

Old storm surface snow settling and somewhat wet at 1400 hrs, solar noon.


Ski-pole tests on ascent revealed a top layer of old storm snow consolidating about Feb 5 drizzle crust. Moderate resistance to hand shear test yielded an intact slab with a rough shear at drizzle crust interface.

Photos & Video
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