Avalanche: Turnagain

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).

Avalanche Details
If this is an avalanche observation, click yes below and fill in the form as best as you can. If people were involved, please provide details.
Trigger NaturalRemote Trigger0
Avalanche Type Cornice FallAspect West
Elevation 3000ftSlope Angle 42deg
Crown Depth4ftWidth 600ft
Vertical Run 1000ft  
Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Obvious signs of instability
Recent Avalanches?Yes
Collapsing (Whumphing)?No
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?No
Observer Comments

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

Weather & Snow Characteristics
Please provide details to help us determine the weather and snowpack during the time this observation took place.

Light winds
Temps in the 20s

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
Please upload photos below. Maximum of 5 megabytes per image. Click here for help on resizing images. If you are having trouble uploading please email images separately to staff.