Skier partially buried in Hatcher Pass avalanche on Sunday

Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 3:00 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A skier was partially buried in a slab avalanche that occurred on Marmot in Hatcher Pass on Sunday, but not injured.

According to Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center, 15 inches of new snow had fallen on Hatcher Pass over the last week and the forecast provided by avalanche center staff on Sunday listed avalanche danger as considerable at all elevations.

According to an observation posted by Tony Demarco on the center’s website, a group of four skiers descended on a southern face of Marmot Mountain and one skier triggered an avalanche approximately 12 inches deep that ran 100 feet long and was approximately 100 feet wide.

The skier was buried waist deep and lost a ski, but was able to self-extract with a shovel, according to the post. The person was not injured.

Whoomphing sounds and shooting cracks were noted throughout the day, according to the post by Demarco, which are often warning signs that precede avalanches.

Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center posts biweekly forecasts of avalanche conditions in Hatcher Pass, and the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center posts avalanche forecasts daily.

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