Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center

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ARCHIVED - Forecasts expire after 24 hours.
Thu, January 5th, 2023 - 7:00AM
Fri, January 6th, 2023 - 7:00AM
Jake Kayes
Avalanche risk The Bottom Line

The avalanche danger is LOW at all elevations and aspects. Human-triggered and natural avalanches are unlikely.

Small avalanches are still possible in isolated areas or extreme terrain. 

Stiff hard slabs, breakable crusts, and sastrugi have created challenging riding conditions. Athletic injury from a fall is still a real hazard. 

Special Announcements

Buy tickets to our cabin fever reliever fundraiser on Feb 4th here.   

Check out our events page for more info on upcoming HPAC parties and fundraisers.

You can also buy HPAC swag at Backcountry Bike and Ski, Fishcreek Sales, and AMH. 

Thu, January 5th, 2023
Upper Elevation
Above 3,500'
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
Mid Elevation
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
Low Elevation
Below 2,500'
1 - Low
Avalanche risk
0 - No Rating
1 - Low
2 - Moderate
3 - Considerable
4 - High
5 - Extreme
Avalanche risk Avalanche risk Avalanche risk Avalanche risk Avalanche risk
Travel Advice Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features. Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern. Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding, and conservative decision-making essential. Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended. Extraordinarily dangerous avalanche conditions. Avoid all avalanche terrain.
Likelihood of Avalanches Natural and human-triggered avalanches unlikely. Natural avalanches unlikely; human-triggered avalanches possible. Natural avalanches possible; human-triggered avalanches likely. Natural avalanches likely; human-triggered avalanches very likely. Natural and human-triggered avalanches certain.
Avalanche Size and Distribution Small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain. Small avalanches in specific areas; or large avalanches in isolated areas. Small avalanches in many areas; or large avalanches in specific areas; or very large avalanches in isolated areas. Large avalanches in many areas; or very large avalanches in specific areas. Very large avalanches in many areas.
Recent Avalanches

No natural or human-triggered avalanches have been observed since December 23rd. 

Avalanche Problem 1
  • Normal Caution
    Normal Caution
Normal Caution
Normal Caution means triggering an avalanche is unlikely but not impossible.
More info at Avalanche.org

Lack of snow available for transport, relatively warm temperatures, and no major loading events have created a snowpack that is generally stable. 

Despite winds continuing to gust throughout this week, a small amount of low density snow is available for transport. This will limit the formation of any new wind slabs.

Natural and human-triggered avalanches are unlikely. 

We have high confidence that the persistent slab problem that we have talked about all season is dormant or unreactive. We will need a major storm or warming event to reawaken the persistent slab problem at the ground.

The current snowpack depth is highly variable at the moment, with depths ranging from 10 inches on southerly wind scoured aspects and up to 6 feet on leeward aspects. Hard wind-affected snow is widespread and varies from 1-8” thick. This hard snow formed 9 days ago and hasn’t shown signs of being reactive. 

Click here for an observation from 1/4 to get a better idea of recent conditions.

Marmot 01/04/23

Riding quality is still difficult in most areas due to the hard slabs, breakable crusts, and sastrugi. Tweaking a knee or taking a nasty fall is not out of the question in these conditions. 

An example of wind effected snow and exposed crusts.

While riding conditions are bleak, soft snow can be found in very protected areas. 

Keep using safe travel protocols and always travel with the appropriate rescue equipment. 

Thu, January 5th, 2023

NWS AVG Forecast here.

NWS point forecast here.

Marmot Weather Station here.

Independence Mine Snotel here.

State Parks Snow Report and Motorized Access information here.

Recent Observations for Hatcher Pass