Hatcher Pass

The Glide Creek area in Hatcher Pass.

HATCHER PASS — The Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center has issued a considerable avalanche warning above 2,500 in Hatcher Pass. With up to 20 inches of new snow and high winds, natural or human avalanches large enough to bury, injure, or kill a person are listed as likely.

“We recommend avoiding avalanche terrain,” reads the observation posted on Nov. 28. “Dangerous avalanche conditions exist for wind slabs and storm slabs after a significant storm system brought strong winds followed by heavy snowfall overnight.

Continued strong winds and heavy snowfall are expected today which could raise the avalanche hazard to HIGH later today.”

Avalanche forecasters with the HPAC have had difficulty recording accurate information.

Winds were forecasted between 11 to 33 mph and have been gusting much higher.

“Winds were strong and sustained overnight, transporting snow into large drifts and dangerous wind slabs. Winds yesterday also contributed to wind slab development, with gusts at 3550 feet reaching 41 mph and gusts at 4500 feet reacing 55 mph. Wind drifting at 3000 feet on the Marmot snow stake indicates a 2.5-foot drifts,” according to the website. “This is a rapid load and red flag on the snowpack. While we lack weak layers and expect bonding to be good over the long term, we expect natural avalanches to be possible and human triggering likely in the short term. Most avalanches occur within 24 to 48 hours of a storm, and this storm will continue to deliver through today.”

For more information on avalanche conditions, visit hatcherpassavalanche.org.

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