Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: IM Bowl, Rae Wallace to Microdot

Route & General Observations

The goal of my tour was to assess rapidly warming snow surfaces, document recent avalanches, and look at structure on southerly aspects to help predict a wet-slab cycle. On a south aspect at 3800′ I found two melt layers 15cm and 35 cm deep, numerous moist to wet layers, and red flags indicative of a wet slab problem.

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 Trigger No
Avalanche Type Wet SlabAspect Southeast
Elevation 4000ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidthunknown
Vertical Rununknown  
Avalanche Details

SE aspect of Skyscraper 4000', Natural wet loose that triggered a wet slab. We saw a few of these combos today in various locations.

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

Rapid warming today with recent wet loose and wet slabs observed on SE, S, SW, and W aspects above 3500'.

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

No new snow since 4/11-13
Light winds kept snow surfaces slightly cooler today
4500': 10am 33degF, 1pm 42deg F
3550': 10am 35degF, 1pm 37deg F- no freeze overnight on 4/20
2700': 10am 41 degF, 1pm 43degF- no freeze overnight on 4/20 with slight freeze on 4/19

Snow surface

Snow surfaces are variable depending on aspect and slope angle (angle of incidence to sun) and range from crust to cream cheese to soft butter. Slight changes in aspect make a big difference.


see pit
no propagation

Photos & Video
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