Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: Storm recon tour with avalanche photos

Route & General Observations

The goal of the day was to take advantage of excellent visibility to document recent avalanches from yesterday’s storm and look at the new/old snow interface. Tons of folks were out enjoying the new snow and sunshine recreating today. We observed many people who triggered small to medium size loose dry sluffs in steep terrain. We did not experience any cracking or whumping on our tour up into Eldorado bowl. We observed avalanche activity that occurred during and at the end of the storm yesterday including several small and a few large storm slabs in addition to numerous small to large loose dry sluffs.

Avalanche Details
If this is an avalanche observation, click yes below and fill in the form as best as you can. If people were involved, please provide details.
Trigger UnknownRemote Trigger Unknown
Avalanche Type UnknownAspect Unknown
ElevationunknownSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidthunknown
Vertical Rununknown  
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

See photos for avalanche information and activity.

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

The MLK storm brought a delightful 10 inches of new snow with 0.9 inches SWE @ IM 3550' and 6 inches new snow with 0.6" SWE @ Frostbite 2700'. 8-10 inches of new snow was observed above 3500' in the Eldorado Bowl area.

Unfortunately the Marmot anemometer was rimed today so wind data is not available. Winds were calm on our tour.

Temperatures ranged from 11-14 deg F at 3550' today and a balmy 8-14 degF on Marmot at 4500'.

Snow surface

Snow surfaces are soft and a mix of precipitation particles with small surface hoar that formed overnight.


Pole tests throughout the day revealed a slight temperature inversion during the first half of the storm and a right side up snowpack for the second half. The new storm slab is barely cohesive enough to act as a slab in most locations and is rapidly losing density with the cold temperatures.
In isolated locations at upper elevation on northerly aspects hand pits revealed easy hand shears with new snow failing on old faceted grains approximately 12" deep.

Photos & Video
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