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Avalanche Forecast for 2021-04-05 06:10

  • EXPIRED ON April 6, 2021 @ 6:10 am
    Published on April 5, 2021 @ 6:10 am
  • Issued by Ryan Sorenson - Mount Shasta Avalanche Center

Overall avalanche danger is LOW today. Slips and falls on smooth icy surfaces and rockfall are a concern for climbers and sliders on the upper mountain. Continue to be mindful of loose wet avalanches and cornice breaks, especially during the hottest hours of the day. 

Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.

Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.

Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.

Avalanche Problem 1: Normal Caution

  • Character ?
  • Aspect/Elevation ?
  • Likelihood ?
    Very Likely
  • Size ?
    Very Large

Normal caution is advised in the backcountry today. Stronger northwesterly winds will keep snow surfaces firmer. Slips and falls on smooth icy surfaces that terminate into rocks are more of a concern than avalanches. However, the warm spring sunshine will melt snow surfaces, and loose wet avalanches or cornice breaks are not impossible. Do you see rollerballs and pinwheels? Are you sinking up to your ankles? If so, avoid overhanging cornices and steep slopes. 


Forecast Discussion

We've had dry winter that is 48% of normal for precipitation and accompanied by A LOT of wind. The mountain above the treeline is a scoured, rocky heap, and climbs this season will host more risk than normal. The optimal climbing season has been pushed months earlier this year. If you plan to climb the south side of Mount Shasta, now is the time. The climbing routes around The Heart and through the Redbanks in Avalanche Gulch are already narrow and/or melted out. If ascending anywhere below exposed rocks, keep your head up and helmet on! 

The Bunny Flat trailhead is the only open trailhead accessible by vehicle at this time. We will post photos and information regarding other trailheads and routes as access is gained. Except for Bunny Flat, all summit passes, wilderness permits, and human waste packout bags must be attained at the McCloud or Mt. Shasta Ranger Stations (self-issue) or at The Fifth Season in Mt. Shasta.

Recent Observations

Snow surfaces vary from smooth to bumpy on the dirty strips of snow on the upper mountain. Wind-carved plates of sastrugi are everywhere. Softening snow could be found on aspects receiving direct sunlight yesterday, but slight variations in aspect and elevation hosted vastly different degrees of softness.  Many old tracks and boot prints exist below Lake Helen. It's still possible to ski to Bunny Flat via the Lower climber's gully below Horse Camp, but it's very tracked out and rocky. Use caution and take it slow.

Over the past 24 hours, temperatures at our Old Ski Bowl weather station have averaged 39.5 °F, with a 30 °F low and a 49.5 °F high. Winds on Gray Butte averaged 9 mi/hr, maxed out at 16 mi/hr with gusts as high as 31 mi/hr. Winds out of the northwest increased last night. Seventy-one inches (182 cm) remains at Old Ski Bowl. The west side in the Castle Lake Basin and Eddy Mountains has 60 - 62 inches (152-156 cm) on the ground. 

Weather and Current Conditions

Weather Summary

Expect dry conditions and above normal temperatures to continue. Scattered lingering clouds are possible early this morning; then skies will be mostly clear. The northwesterly winds will kick back in today. Expect strong winds at high elevations. Little will change for the next week. 

24 Hour Weather Station Data @ 6:00 AM

Weather Station Temp (°F) Wind (mi/hr) Snow (in) Comments
Cur Min Max Avg Avg Max Gust Dir Depth New Water Equivalent Settlement
Mt. Shasta City (3540 ft) 41 38 68 52.5 2 N
Sand Flat (6750 ft) 33 30 50 40 0 0 0 0 Snow sensor down
Ski Bowl (7600 ft) 29.5 29.5 49.5 39.5 71.7 0 0 1.1
Gray Butte (8000 ft) 29.5 29.5 45 37 9 31 WNW
Castle Lake (5870 ft) 32 32 59.5 45.5 60.5 0 2.4
Mount Eddy (6509 ft) 33.5 31 50 41 2 6 WSW 60.6 0 1
Ash Creek Bowl (7250 ft) 33 14 33 23.5 69.4 0 0.5
Ash Creek Ridge (7895 ft) 26.5 26.5 46.5 36 7 20 S

Two Day Mountain Weather Forecast

Produced in partnership with the Medford NWS

For 7000 ft to 9000 ft
(4 a.m. to 10 p.m.)
Monday Night
(10 p.m. to 4 a.m.)
(4 a.m. to 10 p.m.)
Weather Partly cloudy then clearing Clear Sunny
Temperature (°F) 46 28 52
Wind (mi/hr) Northwest 5-15 North 5-10 Southeast 5-10
Precipitation SWE / Snowfall (in) 0.00 / 0 0.00 / 0 0.00 / 0
For 9000 ft to 11000 ft
  Monday Monday Night Tuesday
Weather Partly cloudy then clearing Clear Sunny
Temperature (°F) 29 29 31
Wind (mi/hr) Northwest 35-40 North 15-25 Northwest 5-10
Precipitation SWE / Snowfall (in) 0.00 / 0 0.00 / 0 0.00 / 0

Season Precipitation for Mount Shasta City

Period Measured (in) Normal (in) Percent of Normal (%)
From Oct 1, 2022 (the wet season) 17.15 35.92 48
Month to Date (since Sep 1, 2023) 0.00 0.46 0
Year to Date (since Jan 1, 2023) 13.57 20.71 66


This forecast does not apply to Ski Areas or Highways and is for the Mt. Shasta, Castle Lake and Mt. Eddy backcountry. Use this information for guidance only. You may find different conditions in the backcountry and should travel accordingly. This forecast expires 24 hours after the posted time unless otherwise noted.