Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: Lower Arkos ridge

Route & General Observations

Hatcher Pass, lower Arkos ridge

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 NaturalRemote Trigger0
Avalanche Type Hard SlabAspect West Northwest
Elevation 2200ftSlope Angle 33deg
Crown Depth3ftWidth 200ft
Vertical Run 1000ft  
Avalanche Details

I accidentally spooked a moose onto a Lee sloping aspect, in this case west/northwest facing slope, as I was touring uphill. Within seconds of the moose traversing off center of ridge, to the west, the entire slope gave way with an enormous force, propagating to the northwestern face. The moose disappeared and I believe is buried just 50 yards below the crown In a terrain trap of thick alders, which appears to be deadly in this case. I approached the debris pile where I believed the moose might be, but was unsuccessful in digging it out as I was only packing water and binoculars....traveling solo in late afternoon. Hopefully it didn't get buried and managed to ride it out to the lower slopes where I couldn't see. Tomorrow I will find out if I got some snow kill to deal with. If so stay tuned. Please be more than safe out there.

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)?Yes
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?Yes
Observer Comments

Natural slides on western aspects

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

6-8" new snow, 12-17F, 5-8mph winds

Snow surface

New snow 6"


Dangerous buried hard slab layer resting on faceted rounds!!!! Top layer is a few inches of fresh powder. No pit information. (Try digging a pit into a slope you can barely kick steps into.) Stability test conducted by by full grown Cow moose.

Photos & Video
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