Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: Gold Cord Peak

Route & General Observations

Skinned up south ridge of Gold Cord Peak to false summit at 5250′. Skied SE face. Very wet, trenching ski conditions at 3 pm.

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 Wet Loose SnowAspect South
Elevation 5000ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidthunknown
Vertical Rununknown  
Avalanche Details

Able to get small wet loose avalanches going from turns on steep rollovers. Wet loose avalanches (D1) and rockfall actively took place in "Cable Valley" (valley north of Gold Cord Peak) and in Pinnacle Basin starting around 2 pm.

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)?No
Observer Comments

Large (D2) persistent slab avalanche in Rae Wallace Chutes triggered by cornice fall sometime overnight Monday March 25. See separate observation for more details. Natural wet loose avalanches off the southwest side of Gold Chord Peak that have occurred sometime since Sunday. One looked like it may be large enough to bury, injure, or kill a person but difficult to tell from our vantage point.

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

No new precip. Calm to light down-valley (northerly) winds at Independence Mine. Temperature at the Mine went above freezing at 10 am. Temperature at 4500' reached 40 degrees F at 4 pm. Noticeably "roasting" in the sun at 3 pm at the summit of Gold Cord (t-shirt skiing).

Snow surface

Surface snow is moist. Solar aspects have velvety powder-slush on low angle terrain, steep solar aspects have large melt-freeze grains. Boot penetration ranges from mid-thigh on steep solar aspects to shin deep on low angle solar aspects. Knee deep penetration on SE face of Gold Chord. West aspects had a breakable melt-freeze crust at 3 pm. Pockets of 3" of slightly faceted powder can be found hidden in shaded pockets.


Snow pit at 4327', E aspect Gold Cord Peak, 25 degree slope. HS = 213 cm. Test depth = 100 cm. ECTP27 down 50 cm on 4F moist rounding facets under a F to 1F slab.

Photos & Video
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