|Location:||Lipps West Face|
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).
|Trigger||Natural||Avalanche Type||Cornice Fall||Aspect||West|
|Elevation||3000ft||Slope Angle||42deg||Crown Depth||4ft|
Obvious signs of instability
|Recent Avalanches?||Yes||Collapsing (Whumphing)?||No||Cracking (Shooting cracks)?||No|
Recent cornice fall and avalanche on West face of Lipps
Recent glide avalanche on Cornbiscuit South face
Temps in the 20s
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