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Black Butte

Location Name: 
Black Butte
Mt. Shasta
Date and time of observation: 
Sat, 03/18/2023 - 1:00pm
Observation made by: 

Location Map

96067 Mount Shasta , CA
United States
41° 22' 18.0984" N, 122° 21' 17.3592" W
California US

Snowpack Observations


Observations from the north face of Black Butte

Elevation ranged from 4,000 to 5,600 feet. Overcast skies and warm air remained over the area throughout the outing. Winds remained calm to light of the southwest. At ridge tops, wind picked up to moderate. Wind transport was not observed, likely due to the heavy snow and prevalent surface crust.

Soft, heavy snow can still be found in the most shaded of areas. A thin solar crust was found on majority of the observed terrain. With new snow in the forecast tonight and tomorrow, it's safe to assume this snow will lay on this relatively firm crust. 

Signs of wet instabilities were abundant in the form of large roller balls, pinwheels, and old wet-loose avalanches. These avalanches entrained snow down to the rocks, leaving gouge marks across the slopes and debris blocks the size of microwaves. On the ski down, a ski cut triggered a 10-foot wide wet-loose avalanche that traveled 40 feet into trees. This was a great reminder that, although the current temps are not the warmest we have seen this week, wet instabilities still exist when the upper snowpack is heavily saturated and temps are above freezing.



  • Observation Location: North face of Black Butte
  • Elevation: 5,600 feet
  • Date: 20230318
  • Time: 1300
  • Observer: S. Clairmont
  • Sky Conditions: Overcast (OVC)
  • Current Precipitation: Type - NO
  • Air Temperature: 39 °F
  • 24-hour New Snow Depth (HN24): 0 in (0 cm)
  • Wind Direction: SW
  • Wind Speed: Light ((L), 1-16 mi/hr) to Moderate ((M) 17-25 mi/hr)


Weather Observations


Cloud Cover: 
75% of the sky covered by clouds
Blowing Snow: 
Accumulation rate: 
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Speed: 
Wind Direction: