Avalanche: Hatcher Pass

Location: West facing gully on Marmot

Route & General Observations

Skinned up the west face of Marmot for the last run of the day.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger SkierRemote Trigger No
Avalanche Type Soft SlabAspect Southwest
Elevation 3800ftSlope Angle 37deg
Crown DepthunknownWidth 50ft
Vertical Run 600ft  
Near Miss / Accident Details
Number Caught/Carried? 1Number Partially Buried? 1
Number Fully Buried?0Number Injured?0
Number Fatalities?0  
Avalanche Details

Party of 4 skiing the west facing gully from Marmot peak. First 3 skiers individually rode about 2/3rds of the way down and stopped on the shoulder of the gully; somewhat underneath a rock band where we could observe the following riders. 4th rider stopped above the 3 of us causing a collapse that propagated well above our location. The 3 skiers below immediately skied out of harms way. The 4th rider was caught right in the middle of the slide and quickly deployed their avi-bag. As the slide came to a rest, we were able to see the caught rider on top of the debris field towards the toe of the slide. She was able to radio us that she was fine and able free herself from the snow.

Events of the day

After a couple pit assessments and laps on skyscraper, we decided to end the day in the sun on Marmot. Earlier ECTs resulted in no signs of propagation with an ECTN14 on the new snow interface.
Observing no red flags and lots ski lines on similar aspects we were about ski, we skipped a final ECT on the new aspect. Our big take away from our close call was our choice of stopping location and the lack of snow assessment on the new aspect. We stopped at a spot where we could still observe each other descend, and also left us with enough elevation and angle to ski back to the parking lot without much effort. In hindsight, this was a mistake that could have lead to the entire party getting caught in the slide. No injures, no missing dogs. Stay safe out there.