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Avalanche Gulch

Location Name: 
Mount Shasta
Mt. Shasta
Date and time of observation: 
Sun, 01/10/2021 - 11:30am
Observation made by: 
Red Flags:
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain

Location Map

96067 Mount Shasta , CA
United States
41° 23' 21.498" N, 122° 12' 37.3608" W
California US

Snowpack Observations


  • Observation Location: Avalanche Gulch
  • Elevation: 6,900 to 10,500 feet
  • Date: 20210110
  • Time: 1000 to 1500 hour
  • Observer: R Sorenson
  • Sky Conditions: Few (FEW) clouds on the upper mountain, Valley Fog 6000 to 7500 feet. 
  • Current Precipitation: None
  • Surface Penetration: Ski penetration (SP) = 0-4 in / 0- 10 cm above treeline
  • Total Snow Depth (HS): 30 in / 75 cm near treeline 
  • 24-hour New Snow Depth (HN24): 0.5 -1 in / 1-2 cm
  • 24-hour New Snow Water Equivalent (HN24W):  0.02 in / 0.5mm
  • Wind Direction: Variable 
  • Wind Speed: Light to moderate, gusty 

A mostly clear day on the mountain. Low clouds hung in the valleys with cloud tops varying from 6,000 to 7,000 feet and bottoms around 5,000 feet.  This burned off at 1:30 p.m. Winds were light with occasional moderate gusts and variable in direction.  A small snow shower last night left a skiff of new snow.  Minimal wind effect was observed below and near treeline. Above treeline, the fresh snow was blown into small windrows or deposited into gullied. The windrows were orientated across the slope, indicating previous downsloping (easterly) winds. A few tiny ( ~ 3 inches thick) wind slabs popped out when skinning across these windrows.  West and northwestern aspects of ridges and moraines are scoured, rocky and thin from days of punishing northwesterly winds. The snow remaining above 9,000 feet is hard, and wind pressed. A breakable melt-freeze crust has formed on most aspects below 9,000 feet. 


  • Avalanche Gulch from Lake Helen
  • Ski track leading up Avalanche Gulch
  • Near Treeline. An inch of undisturbed fresh snow remains.
  • Scoured westerly ridges.
  • Looking up Avalanche Gulch from 50/50 flat.
  • Valley fog with cloud tops varying from 6,000 to 7,000 feet. Looking down from Lake Helen.

Weather Observations


See details above. 


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