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Observations

Region: Turnagain
Location: Lipps West Face
Observer:
Date:

Route & General Observations

Toured up S face of Lipps to 3100′. Objective was to take a closer look at the D2.5 avalanche on Lipps W face that happened on Saturday. There was evidence of a large piece of cornice falling onto a steep unsupported slope that contained rocky areas and may have had weak faceted snow localized in this specific terrain. Lipps W face has received a lot of wind this season and that area has been stripped and reloaded multiple times. I did not get into the crown due to additional cornice hang-fire and people on the ridge above. There were chunks of cornice in the debris. The uptrack that was put in at 10 am on 1.30.16 (Saturday) on the S face could be connected to where the cornice originates on the Lipps ridgeline. However; the snow the skin track travels through was 200-300 cms deep and it was very uniform (hardness) layers of wind loaded snow with soft snow on top. I still believe the cornice failed naturally and then triggered the avalanche below. The new tracks on the West face are from Sunday.

We also were able to get a good view of the glide avalanche on Cornbiscuit that had happened within the past 24 hrs. (see Mike Loso’s ob).

Avalanche Details

Avalanche details

Trigger NaturalAvalanche Type Cornice FallAspect West
Elevation 3000ftSlope Angle 42degCrown Depth4ft
Width 600ftLength 1000ft  

Red Flags

Obvious signs of instability

Recent Avalanches?YesCollapsing (Whumphing)?NoCracking (Shooting cracks)?No

Observer Comments

Recent cornice fall and avalanche on West face of Lipps
Recent glide avalanche on Cornbiscuit South face

Weather

Weather

Clear
Light winds
Temps in the 20s

Snow Characteristics

Snow surface

800'-1800' Supportable rain crust with surface hoar and near surface facets
1800'-2000' Surface hoar on 4-6" of settled powder that is faceting over the rain crust
2000'-3100' 6-8" settled powder that is faceting over stiffer settled storm snow

Photos & Video

Photos



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