Avalanche: Turnagain

Location: Lipps

Route & General Observations

AAI/AAS Pro 2 group toured at the south end of the pass to assess the impact of the recent storm. We were pleasantly surprised by the periods of good visibility but less excited about the crust situation at the lower elevations.

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 Trigger Unknown
Avalanche Type UnknownAspect East
Elevation 3500ftSlope Angleunknown
Crown DepthunknownWidthunknown
Vertical Rununknown  
Avalanche Details

We witnessed two small natural avalanches off the top of Lipps immediately after observing wind transport at the summit ridge. These did not run very far at all, but show that there is active wind loading in the upper alpine.

There was one recent brown glide release on Seattle Ridge. On the drive to the pass, we observed numerous small natural that had gone during the storm with few wet loose releases mixed in

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)?Yes
Observer Comments

We observed short shooting cracks above 1400'. Longest and thinnest outlier ran 40' in front of the ski.

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

@1130 Bertha Creek p lot. Broken skies, no precip, calm wind, temp 34F.
@1400 Treeline. Overcast, light snow, light wind.
@1500 Treeline. Obscured, snow 1"/hr.

Snow surface

Oh crusts! Ice crust up to 1100', melt freeze crust up to 1400'! This made travel conditions challenging at the lowest elevations.
Above 1400' 30-60cm of new snow depending on location. No wind impact on surface up to 2000' elevation.


We did numerous travel tests on the tour up. New/old snow interface was reactive on some loaded slopes we tested .
We dug at treeline/2000' on S and NW aspects. HS varied between 60cm (scoured ridge) and 250cm (loaded location).
New/snow interface continued to be our layer of concern with test results ECTP24SP and ECTP26SP. When we investigated the grain types at the layer boundary, we did see some facets (NSF?) and some buried surface hoar, but it took some digging to see these forms at the failure plane that was shiny with new stellars.

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.