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Castle Lake

Location Name: 
Castle Lake
Castle Lake
Date and time of observation: 
Sat, 03/06/2021 - 8:00am
Observation made by: 
Red Flags:
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks, or collapsing
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
Rapid warming

Location Map

96067 Mount Shasta , CA
United States
41° 13' 19.1928" N, 122° 23' 10.6152" W
California US

Snowpack Observations



  • Observation Location: Heart Lake
  • Elevation: 6000 feet
  • Date: 03/06/2021
  • Time: 0830
  • Observer: Paul Moore
  • Sky Conditions: FEW
  • Current Precipitation: Type - None
  • Air Temperature: 30 °F
  • Surface Penetration: Ski penetration (PS) = 4-6 in, boot penetration (PF) = 8-12in
  • Total Snow Depth (HS): 65 in
  • 24-hour New Snow Depth (HN24): 6 in
  • 24-hour New Snow Water Equivalent (HN24W): [?] in ([?] cm)
  • Wind Direction: N/A
  • Wind Speed: Calm, Light


  • smooth snow with some wind texture
  • Right Peak in full early sun.
  • Some blocking and cracking on small test slope.
  • Small cornice stomp
  • 10:00am light snow and lower visibility

Weather Observations


I arrived to an empty trailhead at 7:45am.  There was ~6in of new low density snow on the ground, and the temps felt just below freezing. There was plenty of blue sky with the occasional cloud and very little wind. I couldn't ask for a more beautiful day.  I headed up towards Heart Lake, roughly on the summer trail on the east side of Castle Lake. I noticed minor shooting cracks from the fresh skin track at times and exiting the trees at the first bench, I could hear whoophing sounds on smooth, rounded snow.  On a small test slope near Heart Lake, I observed some blocking in the new snow and easily triggered a small cornice. I was solo and took a conservative line down towards the SE side of the lake avoiding convex rollovers. The snow was light and airy, and I felting like I was floating at times and at other times I would scratch the old crust. I noticed some people heading up the skin track on Right Peak, so I skinned across the lake and up to the track. By 9:15am, the sun was already baking the snow on the east facing slope and roller balls were observed.  Dropping Right Peak towards the parking lot felt like wind buff hot pow, occasionally scratching the old snow. Getting back to my truck at approximately 10:00am, visibility had decreased and it was snowing lightly. 


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