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Coyote Butte Avalanche

Location Name: 
Coyote Butte Avalanche
Mt. Shasta
Date and time of avalanche (best estimate if unknown): 
Sat, 12/10/2022 - 12:20pm
Observation made by: 
Red Flags:
Recent avalanche activity
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
Obvious avalanche path
Terrain Trap

Location Map

96067 Mount Shasta , CA
United States
41° 20' 5.0532" N, 122° 11' 38.6556" W
California US

Avalanche Observations


Avalanche Center forecasters and Mount Shasta Ski Park (MSSP) ski patrol investigated a storm slab avalanche just outside the MSSP boundary on Coyote Butte on a 38 deg NE facing slope. The crown was 2 feet deep and 150 feet wide. The avalanche was triggered naturally earlier in the day, estimated around 8:00am; No avalanche beacon signals were detected in the debris, no ski/board tracks were observed entering or exiting. The bed surface of the avalanche was a buried layer of graupel. The graupel layer fell on top of the snowpack on Friday 12/9 with relatively calm wind. Following was the whooper of a storm that brought ~2.5 feet of new snow (1.8" SWE) in a 40-hour period, beginning 2200 hours Friday night.

Avalanche Code: SS-N-R4-D2-I


  • 1. Date: 20221210
  • 2. Time: 0800 (1220 when discovered)
  • 3. Observer: Michael Madden
  • 4. Path Characteristics:
    • a. Observation Location: Coyote Butte (National Forest Land)
    • b. Aspect: NE
    • c. Slope Angle in Starting Zone: 38
    • d. Elevation: 6850
  • 5. Event Characteristics
    • a. Type: SS
    • b. Trigger: N
    • c. Size: D2-R4
    • d. Snow Properties
      • i. Bed Surface: I
      • ii. Weak Layer: 1F, PPgp
      • iii. Slab: PP (DF), F-4F
  • e. Dimensions 
    • i. Slab Thickness: 60 cm (24 in)
    • ii. Width: 45 m (148 ft)
    • iii. Vertical Fall: 95 m (313 ft)
    • iv. Length of Run Path: 235 m (775 ft)
  • f. Location of Start Zone: T(C). Leeward side of steep convex roll. No anchoring in start zone, run path, or deposition zone.
  • g. Terminus: Located in large mature trees half-way between top of Coyote Butte ski lift and base of Gray Butte ski lift.
  • h. Total Deposit Dimensions: Not recorded
  • i. Avalanche Runout Angle: 24




Weather Observations