Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center

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Fri, November 10th, 2023 - 7:00AM
Sat, November 11th, 2023 - 7:00AM
HPAC Staff
Conditions Summary

We are off to an avalanchy start to the season!

Numerous large natural avalanches capable of injuring and/or burying people occurred during or just after the 11/8/23 storm.

Dangerous avalanche conditions exist at the mid to upper elavations. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding, and conservative decision-making are essential when traveling in avalanche terrain, especially at the mid and upper elevations.

Please review the most recent observation made today which provides a good representation of the current situation.

Regular and detailed avalanche forecasts will begin next week.

Avalanche Problem 1
  • Persistent Slabs
    Persistent Slabs
Persistent Slabs
Persistent Slab avalanches are the release of a cohesive layer of snow (a slab) in the middle to upper snowpack, when the bond to an underlying persistent weak layer breaks. Persistent layers include: surface hoar, depth hoar, near-surface facets, or faceted snow. Persistent weak layers can continue to produce avalanches for days, weeks or even months, making them especially dangerous and tricky. As additional snow and wind events build a thicker slab on top of the persistent weak layer, this avalanche problem may develop into a Deep Persistent Slab.
More info at Avalanche.org

A persistent weak layer problem will persist and continue to be problematic for backcountry travelers.

Numerous red flags for dangerous avalanche conditions were present today:

-Recent natural avalanches

-Whumphing and remotely triggered avalanches were reported today.

-Remotely triggered avalanches

-Poor structure exists. Weak early season snow near the base of the snowpack was identified.

-Propagation present in instability testing

-Recent rapid loading resulting in avalanche activity

The 11/8/23 storm brought 6-8″ of new snow at the upper elevations. Early season snow at the base of the snowpack is weak and failed with new snow and wind loading. We expect this weak layer to persist and continue to pose a problem to backcountry users.

Below is a picture taken today of the Northern face of peak 4068.

Fri, November 10th, 2023

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.

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