Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: Eldorado

Route & General Observations

IMB > Eldordo Lower Rolls > Skyscraper East > Eldorado Headwall East

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierRemote Trigger Unknown
Avalanche Type Soft SlabAspect East
Elevation 4700ftSlope Angle 40deg
Crown Depth 6inWidth 175ft
Vertical Run 1000ft  
Avalanche Details

New snow had been wind-pressed or stiffened. Cohesive slab failed on ski cut. Entire terrain feature avalanched.

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

Many small, recent natural avalanches, SS-N-D1-D1.5-I/O on east aspects of Skyscraper at mid elevation, 6-12" deep. Some avalanches occurred during the storm and were covered with fresh snow.
Cracking was generally localized on small, steep, test slopes and on ascent skin track (North Ridge of Skyscraper).
Numerous human triggered avalanches were triggered today.
One remotely triggered avalanche is significant to note, since it was triggered from a point 25 feet away from the actual avalanche.

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

Overcast skies > Broken in early AM > Overcast by late afternoon.
21F @ 3100' @ 10:00
15F @ 4500' @ 14:00
19F @ 3100' @ 16:00
Winds were generally light to moderate in the morning. Winds were transporting snow at ridgelines in the morning, with visible flagging over the Hatch Peak Ridgeline. Our skin track was partially filling back in each run.
Wind tapered toward the afternoon to calm to light at 5000', and wind transported snow ceased to be visible at ridgelines.

Snow surface

8-12" of new, low density snow, 2/5-2/6.
Slightly wind pressed surface, 2-6" deep, showing easy shears and localized cracking.


-A pulse of 2/5 snow appears to have paused before a secondary pulse of overnight snow on 2/5-6, leaving a somewhat reactive interface within the new storm snow.

-Additionally, a 2-6" wind a stiffened surface, 4F hardness, was sitting on Fist hard new snow. This was failing with ski cuts and localized cracking while breaking trail and on test slopes. This was today's primary concern.

-Some avalanches that occurred naturally during the storm appear to be approximately 8-10" deep failing on the new/old interface.
This bed surface is variable, from facets to old wind scoured crusts to smooth wind board.

Many hand pits and one formal pit were conducted today targeting the new snow problems and an older layer of facets.
3600', East aspect, 36 degree slope. New snow surface instabilities were limited to ECTN easy results. ECTP15 and 25 on facets down 55cm under and old, thin hard slab, consistent with recent results over the last week.

Photos & Video
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