Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: Twin Lakes

Route & General Observations

Toured up in the direction of twin lakes to check out how the new snow was bonding. We decided that white out conditions, and obvious storm slab instability were good reasons to not travel too high into the bowl. During the tour there were lots of shooting cracks, and even a small release. Ski conditions were a combination of powder on crust, crust, and wind board.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierRemote Trigger No
Avalanche Type Soft SlabAspect Northeast
Elevation 2800ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidth 5ft
Vertical Run 5ft  
Avalanche Details

-Very small storm slab released on a NE aspect 2800’ it was only about 5 ft wide and slid only ~5 ft

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

Shooting cracks the length of a 115 cm ski pole observed throughout the tour. They were more frequent in areas with wind loaded snow such as on wind features, next to ridges, and cross loaded gullies.

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

-Obscure visibility made it challenging to see surrounding terrain, and flat light made for difficult skiing conditions.
- S1 throughout the tour
- Light winds from the SE
- Cooler temperatures

Snow surface

-Wind was clearly moving the new dry snow.
-Some SE features were scoured down to the melt freeze crust from yesterday.
-Many areas were wind loaded with the slab being ~18 cm thick in some areas.
-The majority of skiing was a `~8 cm layer of new snow on top of the melt freeze crust.


-Obvious interface within storm snow
-stomping on wind loaded snow resulted in large cracks
-Unofficial shovel tilt test fractured with easy force

Twin Lakes: @2900’/NE aspect/22° slope angle/HS 215 cm/ @13:15
-ECTP22 @12cm↓ on 1mm facets under melt freeze crust
-Layer contains 4 lemons

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