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10k feet on Green Butte Ridge
Hello June-uary! Temperatures soared today with a high on Gray Butte (8,000 feet) of 49 degrees F. Wind was apparent over higher ridges, gusty, inconsistent. Overall, it was a gorgeous, spring-like day on the mountain. No avalanche danger was observed.
The snowpack is transitioning to melt-freeze on sunny aspects and smooth snow can be found. Key word here is transitioning...there are still areas of crust and less than perfect sliding conditions. Up above treeline, surfaces are wind textured for the most part, with scoured moraines and ridges. That said, coverage is pretty good and the snowpack is well settled. Firm, icy snow exist along the westerly (windward) edge of Green Butte Ridge, fully supportable and good cramponing. The leeward (easterly side) of the ridge consists of chalky wind slabs with ankle deep boot penetration.
Near and Below treeline, smooth, corn-like snow can be found on sunny slopes. Expect some variable crusts in there.
The Trinity Chutes and Redbanks rocks are totally plastered in rime ice. A warm day like today, it was probably firing. Rime ice is a legit hazard. Wear a helmet and don't dawdle in the bowling alley if climbing above Helen Lake.
Bunny Flat is the only open trailhead at this time. One may access other trailheads, but will need a good set of legs or a snowmobile. South side climbing routes are in good shape, but it's still winter. A climb of Mt. Shasta in the winter is a level up. You might catch a good weather window and have a great time, and that's awesome. Don't forget that Shasta is capable of severe weather and real mountain hazards. The bottom line is, be prepared. Wind chill can be brutal. Know how to use navigation tools in case of whiteout. Smooth, icy snow is common...slips and falls can result in a slide for life. Avalanche danger (carry a beacon, shovel and probe) and extreme post-holing is also possible. Think it through, be honest with both your own, and partner's skills. The goal may seem like the top, but really it's about coming back to tell the story, and blow up your social media. Keep it pro out there!
- Observation Location: Old Ski Bowl / 10k feet on Green Butte Ridge
- Elevation: 10,000 feet
- Date: 20220112
- Time: 1130
- Observer: N Meyers
- Sky Conditions: Clear (CLR)
- Current Precipitation: Type - NO
- Air Temperature: 49 °F (Max at 8k ft)
- Surface Penetration: Boot penetration (PF) = 0-5 in
- Total Snow Depth (HS): ~75-85 in
- 24-hour New Snow Depth (HN24): none
- 24-hour New Snow Water Equivalent (HN24W): none
- Wind Direction: W-NW-SW
- Wind Speed: Calm below and near treeline, light to moderate above treeline over ridges, gusty.
Clear, sunny, calm wind below and near treeline, light to moderate westerly wind above treeline over ridges. Temps reached almost 50 degrees today at 8,000 feet. Temperature models look to warm a few degrees further into the weekend.