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Avalanche Forecast for 2021-04-08 06:12

  • EXPIRED ON April 9, 2021 @ 6:12 am
    Published on April 8, 2021 @ 6:12 am
  • Issued by Nick Meyers - Shasta-Trinity National Forest

Avalanche danger is low and normal caution is advised in the backcountry. For climbers, falling rock and slips and falls are the main concern. This hazard should be considered in between Helen Lake and Redbanks, or any other steep areas with exposed rock overhead. Strong west/northwest wind this morning will die off in the late afternoon. 

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. The spring climbing season is here. Falling rock and slips and falls are the main concern. Keep your head up and helmet on and use your ice axe and crampons.

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. Precipitation is 48% of normal. High wind events have left the upper mountain scoured and rocky. Climbs this season will have 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 Red Banks in Avalanche Gulch are already narrow or melted out.

The Bunny Flat trailhead is the only open trailhead accessible by vehicle at this time. Except for Bunny Flat, all summit passes, wilderness permits, and human waste packout bags must be attained at the McCloud or Mount Shasta Ranger Stations (self-issue) or at The Fifth Season in Mount Shasta. Check out this link for the latest trailhead access information.

Recent Observations

Over the past 24 hours, it's been a breezy one. Westerly wind has averaged 12 mi/hr with gusts to 49 mi/hr. The wind really kicked in out of the northwest last night around midnight and is still cranking this morning on Gray Butte. Temperatures peaked at 44 ºF and bottomed out at 31.5 ºF. The snow depth at the Old Ski Bowl is 67 in, 1.4 inches less than yesterday morning. At Castle Lake, the snowpack is still usable with a current depth of 55 inches, high temperature of 60 ºF and low of 31 ºF. Check the latest real time weather from our remote weather stations here. This page combines the Old Ski Bowl and Gray Butte information for a one-page glimpse at the mountain info you want to know!

As for skiing, it's variable and Mt. Shasta's famous spring corn harvest just isn't so this season. Despite the look of things, some moments of ski brilliance can still be found out there. Climbers have been attempting the mountain with some success. The skies have been clear, but wind has thwarted a few attempts. Rockfall has been observed on the Avalanche Gulch route in between Helen Lake and Redbanks. The snow is supportable in the morning hours and soft in the afternoon. We have not observed or heard of any loose-wet avalanches recently.

Sand Flat still has snow for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Trails are a bit rough, but good enough. Snowmobile access from Bunny Flat is still possible.

The south side, Bunny Flat, Avalanche Gulch situation from yesterday, 4.7.21. 


Weather and Current Conditions

Weather Summary

Sunny and clear weather today with overall high temperatures near normal. Areas with sunshine could be a few degrees above normal. Upper air flow is out of the northwest. Over exposed terrain, expect windy conditions (NW - 20-30 mi/hr) this morning that will taper off later this afternoon. No winter weather is in sight for the extended period. The 2021 winter season closing has been lackluster, but it's one less activity to contribute to recreational stress.

24 Hour Weather Station Data @ 4:00 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) 40 32 66 50.5 1 N
Sand Flat (6750 ft) 33 30 50 39 Snow sensor down
Ski Bowl (7600 ft) 33.5 31.5 44 37 67 0 0 1.4
Gray Butte (8000 ft) 31.5 30 42 34.5 12 49 W
Castle Lake (5870 ft) 31 31 60 45 55.1 0 2.4
Mount Eddy (6509 ft) 27 27 54 38.5 2 6 WSW 56.3 0 1.7
Ash Creek Bowl (7250 ft) 33 14 33 23.5 69.4 0 0.5
Ash Creek Ridge (7895 ft) 24 24 44 34 10 28 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.)
Thursday Night
(10 p.m. to 4 a.m.)
(4 a.m. to 10 p.m.)
Weather Sunny Clear Sunny
Temperature (°F) 43 25 49
Wind (mi/hr) Northwest 5-10 North 5-10 Southwest 5-10
Precipitation SWE / Snowfall (in) 0.00 / 0 0.00 / 0 0.00 / 0
For 9000 ft to 11000 ft
  Thursday Thursday Night Friday
Weather Sunny and windy Clear and windy Sunny
Temperature (°F) 30 29 29
Wind (mi/hr) Northwest 20-30 Northwest 10-20 West 10-20
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, 2021 (the wet season) 17.15 36.27 47
Month to Date (since May 1, 2022) 0.00 0.81 0
Year to Date (since Jan 1, 2022) 13.57 21.06 64


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.