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Avalanche on W aspect 8,700 feet lower Casaval Ridge (Giddy Giddy Gulch)

Location Name: 
West facing skier's left side Giddy Giddy Gulch, lower Casaval Ridge 8,700 feet
Region: 
Mt. Shasta
Date and time of avalanche (best estimate if unknown): 
Tue, 12/25/2018 - 8:00am
Observation made by: 
Professional Observer
Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activityRecent loading by new snow, wind, or rain

Location Map

96067 Mount Shasta , CA
United States
41° 22' 44.5224" N, 122° 13' 36.876" W
California US

Avalanche Observations

Details

Location: Lower Casaval Ridge (Giddy Giddy Gulch), 8,700 feet W aspect

Time of Occurance: 20181225, early morning during wind event, 8 a.m.?

Path Characteristic: W aspect, crown not visible, 30 - 40 degree slope, starting zone in steep stunted trees

Event Characteristic: D1R1, Windslab, Natural. Likely ran on melt freeze crust from Dec 19th warming event or Dec 14th rain crust?  No other activity in area observed. See snowpack observation and pit profile from event here: https://www.shastaavalanche.org/snowpack-observation/strong-wind-lower-c...

 

Characteristics

Avalanche Type: 
Slab
Trigger type: 
Natural
Slope: 
35degrees
Aspect: 
West
Elevation: 
8 700ft.
Terrain: 
Above Treeline
Weak Layer: 
Other - explain below
Bed Surface: 
Old Snow
Avalanche Length: 
200ft.

Weather Observations

Details

Skies were clear above 6,900 feet with a mix of lower clouds below. Wind out of the north were gusting down Avalanche Gulch. Large plums of blowing snow were observed above treeline.  These winds were very productive striping any exposed windward surfaces and packing low lying leeward areas. 

Statistics

Cloud Cover: 
Clear
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Precipitation: 
None
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Air temperature trend: 
Static
Wind Speed: 
Strong
Wind Direction: 
North