Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Conditions Update and Eldorado Lowers

Route & General Observations

November 6, 2022 

Conditions Update

I traveled from Independence Mine to Eldorado Lowers

Thin coverage! It looks better than it is. There are very specific locations with better coverage than others, but without a base, you hit bottom and hazards are unavoidable. The ground is very visible in most ski and snowboard turns.

  • There is enough snow to look nice and wintery white, and enough to practice beacon drills.
  • Coverage is very thin with no base, easy to hit rocks and get caught up in buried alders and bushes
  • Creeks were open and difficult to cross
  • Total snowpack observed was 8-16″ of low-density snow, mostly weak and sugary, with a thin ice crust at ground
  • Higher elevations may have some wind slabs from previous wind events, but I was not able to get up higher than 3800 feet
  • I did not encounter any slab cohesion on my tour, but I also only saw a small sample of what’s out there. Upper elevations may have received more wind, and old wind slabs may fail easily on weak basal sugary snow. I would expect these potential hazards to be small and patchy in distribution.
  • The most likely type of avalanche possible is loose dry sluffing on steep slopes 40 degrees and steeper.
  • Road was freshly and well plowed including turn outs and parking

Below: Eldorado Lowers, 3800′, East Aspect

Below: Eldorado Lowers, 3200′, East Aspect

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Observer Comments

No Cracking, Collapsing or Avalanches
No cohesive slabs were encountered.

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

Clear, cold, calm

Snow surface

A few inches of rounds from recent new snow


Mostly low density, loose, unconsolidated facets - watch for possible reactive persistent weak layer if buried
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Photos & Video
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