Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Lipps

Date:
Observer:
Route & General Observations

We climbed to about 2400′, digging pits on a NW aspect at 1900′ and a SW aspect at 2200′. We decided to turn around at the bottom of the steep part of the climb since clouds were moving in, winds were picking up, and the surface was freshly wind loaded.

Avalanche Details
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Trigger UnknownAvalanche Type Soft Slab
Aspect WestElevation 2400ft
Slope AngleunknownCrown Depth 6in
Width 50ftVertical Run 100ft
Avalanche Details

There was debris from a recent wind slab that pulled out below a steep, rocky rollover. The avalanche was shallow, and debris would not have been enough to bury a person.

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

Cloudy skies all day, with the cloud level dropping in the afternoon. Winds were calm until about 2:00, when they picked up to around 15 mph out of the southeast. There was some light snow as the winds picked up, but not enough for any accumulation while we were out.

Snow surface

5-6" snow from this weekend sitting on top of the thin 12/7 crust to 1300', or on top of a mixture of soft snow and old wind slabs between 1300'-2400' We started seeing fresh wind loading as soon as we got above the alder line (~1300').

Snowpack

The thin crust from 12/7 was present buried about 6" deep up to around 1300'. We never got above the 12/1 crust- which is really a sandwich of crusts and facets in this area, buried 1-1.5' deep. In our first set of pits (NW aspect, 1900'), we got mixed test results in the upper part of the crust/facet sandwich, with an ECTP13 and two ECTN22's (see snowpit profile). The same layer was present, but not reactive in any of our tests in our second set of pits (SW aspect, 2200'). This is similar to the results Aleph found yesterday on Petes North.

Photos & Video
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