HATCHER PASS — With recent snowfall, the avalanche danger in Hatcher Pass was listed as moderate at all levels on all aspects by the Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center. The forecast posted on February 13 lists moderate avalanche danger for dry loose avalanches (sluffs) on steep slopes at 40 degrees and higher. Numerous small, natural, and human triggered dry loose avalanches were observed this week on much of the various mountain terrain in Hatcher Pass.
“New low density snow from last week and this week have improved conditions, in addition to increasing the potential to trigger sluffs. Route choice and sluff management will be integral to not getting sluffed into a terrain trap or somewhere you don’t want to go. We recommend practicing safe travel protocol, skiing/riding one at a time, spacing out, and using appropriate safe zones. An additional concern for human triggering small persistent soft slabs failing 0.5-2 feet deep exists in isolated, previously wind effected areas, on all aspects, at mid to upper elevations,” wrote HPAC staff.
Another dangerous element of the new snow is the small amount of rock coverage they provide, while the dangerous rocks still exist below the new snow.
“Generally a pile of weak sand,” wrote HPAC Forecasters Jed Workman and Allie Barker on Feb 16. “The biggest hazard today was penetration of the snowpack and hitting rocks, which many people reported today.”
More information can be found at https://hpavalanche.org/