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Avalanche Gulch

Location Name: 
Mount Shasta
Mt. Shasta
Date and time of observation: 
Sat, 12/19/2020 - 12:00pm
Observation made by: 
Red Flags:

Location Map

96067 Mount Shasta , CA
United States
41° 23' 22.2972" N, 122° 12' 40.2156" W
California US

Snowpack Observations


  • Observation Location: Avalanche Gulch / South Side Mt Shasta
  • Elevation: 6,950 feet to 10,500 feet
  • Date:  20201219
  • Time:  1200
  • Observer: R Sorenson
  • Sky Conditions: Mostly Clear, Wispy high altitude clouds 
  • Current Precipitation: None
  • Air Temperature:27 F
  • Surface Penetration: 0-2 inches / 0-5 cm
  • Total Snow Depth (HS): 0-25 inches / 0-65 cm
  • Wind Direction: Northwest
  • Blowing Snow: Yes, Widespread scouring and sublimation. 

Mount Shasta has received strong northwest winds over the past 24 hours. Wind speeds recorded at 8,000 feet on Gray Butte have ranged from 15 to 29 mi/hr and averaged 22 mi/hr over the last 24 hours (12/18- 1500 hours to 12/19 - 1500 hours). This has obliterated what was left of our shallow snowpack near and above treeline.  A tour to Helen Lake in Avalanche Gulch observed a barely usable snowpack. Gullies host the best chance at making turns on a firm and chalky wind board. Pockets of softer snow remain in protected areas below the treeline and are mixed with various breakable wind and sun crust in open areas. Many hidden and not so hidden obstacles exist everywhere. There is little to no snow on the typical avalanche starting zones on the south side of Mount Shasta at this time.


  • View from Bunny Flat
  • Skin track below treeline near Bunny Flat
  • Firm wind textured snow in open area near treeline
  • Beware lots of rocks and ice on moraines
  • Spring Hill
  • 2 inch (5 cm) Supportable windboard in gullies
  • Looking down Avalanche Gulch. Note scouring on moraines.
  • Looking up from Lake Helen

Weather Observations


See notes


Cloud Cover: 
25% of the sky covered by clouds
Blowing Snow: 
Accumulation rate: 
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Speed: 
Wind Direction: