Observation: Turnagain

Location: Lipps

Route & General Observations

Toured up to the SW face of Lipps after deciding against skiing up Spoke Creek due to oncoming low cloud cover. We wanted to check on the snowpack reactivity and snow totals from Turnagain pass and check on surface conditions before we are exposed to another storm.

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

Broken clouds trending to overcast with surprisingly good visibility at the beginning of the day. The clouds slowly came in and made us rethink a longer objective. Warmer temperatures to start the day with potential green housing occurring by the end of the day. If felt much warmer than the car temperature gage was reading.

Snow surface

Another pick your crust kinda day. A 1" thick melt freeze crust from the road to our snow pit at 2500' covered most of the surface snow. On more norther and exposed slopes we could find wind buffed "hallow" feeling snow. This crust capped 8" of storm snow sitting on top of another crust. By the end of our tour and to our surprise the snow surface was melting even though it had not been exposed to direct sunlight. We believe that some degree of greenhouse effect had a-lot to do with this. We saw larger loose snow avalanches entraining a decent amount of snow in Todds bowl and on steeper slopes throughout the pass.


We toured up to 2500' and dug a snow pit on a SW aspect. With the large amounts of storm totals reported in Portage/Placer area we wanted to see how much the pass received and check the interference between the old snow/new snow. We conducted a stability test and did not have any alarming results (ECTN26) on the easter day crust, though poor structure does exist here. We found the Pi crust located about 4 ft deep and didn't notice any loose facets that had been causing us concerns the in past few weeks.

Photos & Video
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