Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: Friendship Pass

Route & General Observations

Toured up Gold Cord drainage towards Friendship Pass. Began ascending the apron below Gold Cord Peak’s two intersecting couloirs.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierRemote Trigger No
Avalanche Type Soft SlabAspect Southwest
Elevation 4800ftSlope Angle 40deg
Crown Depth 24inWidth 40ft
Vertical Run 250ft  
Near Miss / Accident Details
Number Caught/Carried? 1Number Partially Buried? 1
Number Fully Buried?0Number Injured?0
Number Fatalities?0  
Avalanche Details

Avalanche released at feet of skier while touring below cliffs, at the top of a steep, windloaded slope. Skier was entrained and carried 150 feet downslope, buried waist-deep, but able to free themself after debris had stopped moving. Avalanche slid on old wind-sculpted surface from the major wind event. There appears to be a layer of loose, low density snow sitting on top of this old wind-sculpted surface, with denser snow from recent storms above it.

Events of the day

The human factor was a major contributor to this incident. Even though little was known about the snowpack, confidence was gained from watching others ski steep, windloaded faces. The skier who was caught was on high alert for shallow wind slabs, but failed to account for the possibility of slabs sliding on the deeper old/new interface.

Photos & Video
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