Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: Skyscraper Near Hatcher Pass

Route & General Observations

Recent human triggered or remotely triggered wet slab avalanche on SE aspect of Skyscraper near Hatcher Pass, i.e. “Nixon’s Nose”. Large enough to bury, injure, or kill a person (D2). Occurred 11:45am. Ran to less than 25 yards from the road.

Contact, Location & General Observations
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Forecaster Comments

More information: Wet slab was human triggered at 11:45am by snowboarder. Person reported "barely crust" conditions at the top. Descended down slope, triggered wet loose, continued down slope as snow softened to 6" depth. Got to bottom and looked up to see LARGE slow moving wet slab, large enough to bury, injure, or kill. Likely scenario: small wet loose triggered large wet slab. Don't underestimate the solar heating and rapidly rising temps early in the day on southerly aspects.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SnowboarderRemote Trigger0
Avalanche Type Wet SlabAspect Southeast
Elevation 4300ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown Depth 24inWidth 150ft
Vertical Run 500ft  
Avalanche Details

Appears to have been triggered by a smaller wet slab avalanche above.

Red Flags
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Obvious signs of instability
Recent Avalanches?Yes
Collapsing (Whumphing)?Yes
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?No
Observer Comments

Saw skiers trigger wet loose avalanches on Sunnyside of Hatch. Localized collapsing in two places along Hatch Peak ridgeline.

Weather & Snow Characteristics
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Boot pen at 11 am on uptrack along east aspect of Hatch Peak ridgeline was above the knee. Hand pits failed on isolation on moist advanced facets on the ground. Able to easily mash my pole to the ground everywhere.

Photos & Video
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