Observation: Turnagain

Location: Lipps

Route & General Observations

Toured up the lower face of Lipps to treeline and then up Spokane Creek.

Red Flags
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Observer Comments

Active wind loading along ridgetops. Winds were light to moderate in the valley bottom, but we observed pluming on the upper ridgelines.

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

Warm and windy day with clear skies and no precipitation. Winds were light to moderate in the valley bottom but were blowing hard enough to transport snow at higher elevations.

Snow surface

Variable rain crust. From 800 to 1200' there was a thin (< 0.5 cm) breakable crust over about 6" of soft snow. The combination of breakable crust and partially buried alder made for some very cautious skiing conditions. Above 1200' the melt/rain crust was mostly supportable ( 0.5 to 2 cm thick) and the skiing was much easier. In a few areas the crust was very firm and slick which made skinning difficult. Otherwise the conditions were passable but we kept the terrain very mellow because of the challenging skiing conditions.


We dug a pit at 2000' and found the faceted layer buried only 50 cm deep, which is much shallower than what we have seen in other areas of Turnagain Pass. At 3400' we dug another pit and found a mostly homogeneous and strong snowpack with a few melt freeze crusts but no notable weak layers.

Photos & Video
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