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Castle Lake

Location Name: 
Castle Lake
Castle Lake
Date and time of observation: 
Sat, 12/31/2022 - 11:30am
Observation made by: 

Location Map

96067 Mount Shasta , CA
United States
41° 13' 25.9464" N, 122° 23' 12.5952" W
California US

Snowpack Observations


You couldn't buy an avalanche today in the Castle Lake area. Heavy fog, mist, poor visibility and a stiff north wind was the soup de jour, near treeline and above. Not a lick of loose snow is available for wind transport. The snowpack is heavily affected by rain and warm temps. Rain runnels dominate on all aspects. Snow surfaces range from firm to soft crust, mushy wet snow, firm wind get the picture...nasty. The top 1–2 inches of the snowpack is moist to wet. 

A few small, old avalanche crown lines could be seen in steep terrain below Middle Peak. Old loose, wet roller balls were also observed. Small cornices are beginning to form off the Middle Peak ridge. Coverage is still decent...we just need a refresh of the fresh!

Despite the lake's blue tint and soft look, it was supportable to walk on and with cooling temps, I am not concerned about unstable lake ice...but that's not our department anyway. laugh 

  • Observation Location: Castle Lake
  • Elevation: 6,500 feet
  • Date: 12.31.2022
  • Time: 1130
  • Observer: N Meyers
  • Sky Conditions: Obscured (X), heavy fog, mist, wet
  • Current Precipitation: Type - NO 
  • Air Temperature: 35 °F
  • Surface Penetration: Ski penetration (PS) = 5 in, boot penetration (PF) = 5-10 in
  • Total Snow Depth (HS): 185 cm / 6 feet
  • 24-hour New Snow Depth (HN24): none
  • 24-hour New Snow Water Equivalent (HN24W): n/a
  • Wind Direction: North
  • Wind Speed: Moderate (M), 17-25 mi/hr, small trees sway
  • Column & Block Tests:
    • Slope Angle & Aspect: 34º, NE 
    • ECTX


  • Castle Lake from lake level
  • Castle Lake from just above lake level
  • Skin track and rain runnels below treeline. Ski pen: ~1-5 inches
  • Signs of previous S-SE wind
  • Rain runnels
  • Soft, breakable crust in many areas around Castle Lake
  • Old avalanche crown line in steep terrain below Middle Peak
  • Snow pit, 6,500 feet, NE
  • No results from ECT test (ECTX)

Weather Observations


Past 24-hour weather data from Castle Lake weather station:


Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Blowing Snow: 
Accumulation rate: 
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Speed: 
Wind Direction: