Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center

Hatcher Pass Avalanche Forecast RSS

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ARCHIVED FORECAST - All forecasts expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
Issued
Thu, February 2nd, 2023 - 7:00AM
Expires
Fri, February 3rd, 2023 - 7:00AM
Forecaster
Jake Kayes
The Bottom Line

The avalanche danger is LOW at all elevations and on all aspects. Small avalanches are possible in isolated areas or extreme terrain.

Remember that low danger doesn’t mean no danger.

We recommend using safe travel techniques and carrying appropriate rescue equipment. 

Overnight two inches of new snow has fallen in the forecast area. With another two inches forecasted by this evening. 

Special Announcements

We are SOLD OUT of tickets to the HPAC Cabin Fever Reliever Fundraiser highlighting Hope Social Club on Feb 4th. Just a reminder that the fundraiser location has been CHANGED to the Palmer Senior Center, 1132 South Chugach Street, Palmer, AK 99645

Thu, February 2nd, 2023
Upper Elevation
Above 3,500'
Low (1)
Avalanche risk
Mid Elevation
2,500'-3,500'
Low (1)
Avalanche risk
Low Elevation
Below 2,500'
Low (1)
Avalanche risk
Upper Elevation
Above 3,500'
Avalanche risk
Low (1)
Mid Elevation
2,500'-3,500'
Avalanche risk
Low (1)
Low Elevation
Below 2,500'
Avalanche risk
Low (1)
Danger Scale:
No Rating (0)
Low (1)
Moderate (2)
Considerable (3)
High (4)
Extreme (5)
Recent Avalanches

There were two confirmed human triggered avalanches on Jan 27th. Some small wet loose avalanches were observed on Jan 31st, these likely occurred on Jan 29th or 30th.

1/27 – Skier triggered Persistent Slab avalanche near Friendship Pass, SW, 4800′, Partial Burial, D1.5

1/27 – Lane Hut area, WSW, ∼4300 D1.5′, Snowmachine trigger point marked by red arrow crown is estimated at 18″ deep

Lower President’s Ridge 2700′ SE, Several Wet Loose, D1. Likely occurred on Jan 28th or 29th.

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

Human-triggered avalanches are unlikely but still possible in isolated areas and in extreme terrain.

Here’s a quick recap of last week’s weather. A storm on 1/23 brought about 8” of snow and 1.4 inches of water, on 1/25 a second storm brought 0.4” of water and 2-3” of snow. 

On Friday January 27th there was good visibility and warm weather, which brought lots of users to Hatcher Pass. Two separate avalanches were triggered, see recent avalanches above for more info. 

Over the weekend warm wet weather brought some rain and warm temperatures up to 36ºF at Independence Mine. On the night of Jan 29th, an additional 3” of snow fell at Hatcher Pass with minimal wind.

There are several factors that are allowing stability in the snowpack to improve. Incremental loading from previous weather events has not caused significant stress on any buried weak layers. The weak faceted layers that have been buried are continuing to round due to the warm temperatures over the last week. We have not observed any propagation in our snowpits, which is another indicator that stability is improving. There have been no human-triggered avalanches for 6 days. 

The sidewall below shows the lack of propagation and increasing stability of the snowpack.

Moving forward we will need a significant warming, wind, or snow event to reactivate any of the weak layers buried deeper in the snowpack

The riding quality in Hatcher Pass has improved dramatically since the January drought. Rocks, old sastrugi, and other hazards a still waiting below the surface. 

We recommend traveling with partners and carrying appropriate rescue equipment.

Weather
Thu, February 2nd, 2023

Independence Mine 1/28-2/1

Date
AKST
Temp
F
RH
%
Wind
Spd
mph
Gust
mph
Dir
deg
Min 22 0 0 0 N
Max 36 99 8.5 13.7 NW
Avg 27.2 85.5 1 2.7 W

 

Frostbite Bottom 1/28-2/1

Date
AKST
Temp
F
RH
%
Spd
mph
Gust
mph
Dir
deg
Min 24 52 0 0 N
Max 37 96 6.1 15.8 NNW
Avg 30.1 80.2 2.5 5.9 WSW

NWS AVG Forecast here.

NWS point forecast here.

Marmot Weather Station here.

Independence Mine Snotel here.

Frostbite Bottom Snotel here.

State Parks Snow Report and Motorized Access information here.

XC trail grooming report for Mat-Su, Anchorage, and Kenai here.

Observations
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