Observation: Hatcher Pass

Location: Skyscraper and Eldorado Bowl

Route & General Observations

IMB>Eldorado Bowl>Skyscraper Mt

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

Today- No avalanches, No cracking, No whumphing
Preciously wind loaded stiff bulbs non-reactive

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

Clear, Calm, -10C

Snow surface

NSF forming


Stability has improved significantly since the Halloween Avalanche Cycle. We observed no avalanches. No cracking, No whumphing.

Hordes of backcountry users skied a large variety of slopes. Users booted large, connected, steep slopes, on southerly aspects as well as steep rocky terrain. Many users were observed to have completely let their guard down, hiking in tight groups, up 38 degree slopes.

The A-typical snowpack has a variety of layers which should be carefully monitored as new loads are applied.

Surface problems: Wind slabs are stubborn to trigger, thin and small in scale.

Mid-pack to basal problems: Strong strength, poor structure, low energy. Propagation is difficult to initiate in instability tests. Friction is high in thin faceted layers of concern.

Multiple PSTs on North Aspect at 3950' showed high friction (PST 100/100 X2, PST 99/100 END) on thin weak layers in the mid-pack. ECTs concurred, CT's showed SP in these layers, however the CT test is probably not the best test for this problem. These stability tests appear to be congruent with all other pieces of the stability assessment. This increases confidence in our assessment, however we still have limited data.

Our current, focussed approach to traveling in avalanche terrain given the current conditions and what we have observed: "Buy insurance"; while stability appears to be good, safe travel protocol, using islands of safety, spreading out, incorporating good communication, including radios, and having all rescue equipment on all members of the group, will give us a margin of safety in case we are wrong.

Photos & Video
Please upload photos below. Maximum of 5 megabytes per image. Click here for help on resizing images. If you are having trouble uploading please email images separately to staff.