Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: Valley of sin- Sunnyside of Hatch

Route & General Observations

Skinned into the valley of sin using the common track. Snow felt relatively stable down to the drizzle crust which was punchy but not as much as it had been last weekend. The everything felt fine except for the line that slid.

Contact, Location & General Observations
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Forecaster Comments

This avalanche appears to have failed on NSF near the sun crust/drizzle crust and stepped down to older deeper weak faceted layers near the gully sidewall. Estimation for crown depth is 12-18".

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierRemote Trigger Yes
Avalanche Type Hard SlabAspect South Southwest
Elevation 3500ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown Depth 12inWidth 100ft
Vertical Run 600ft  
Near Miss / Accident Details
Avalanche Details

We skinned into the valley and used the common track to the top of the ridge. At the top of the track we decided to push a bit further towards Hatch peak and ski down from there, we found a good spot to transition and talked about the line we were going to ski. My partner went first and I waited until I could see she was in a safe area on top of the ridge separating the gullies to follow down. I was trying to ski carefully and take my time going down the slope because the line felt much spookier from the drizzle crust. I turned a little too hard and stopped when the avalanche was triggered. I didn't hear a whump but I did hear hiss and that was when the slide occurred, it triggered about 3-4 feet below me and ran into the gulley. I waited until the avalanche had settled and then decided to traverse to skiers left to get down in a hopefully safer zone. I didn't want to stick around too much but the crown looked to be no more than a foot high and the layer that failed on near surface facets. I feel very lucky that my partner was in a safe area and that I was not taken with this slide.

Red Flags
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Obvious signs of instability
Recent Avalanches?Yes
Collapsing (Whumphing)?No
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?No
Observer Comments

Some spots along the top of the ride felt slabby.

Weather & Snow Characteristics
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Clear, light winds, and probably in the teens to low twenties

Snow surface

Dry powder on top of drizzle crust