You are here

Conditions at Ash Creek Butte

Location Name: 
Ash Creek Butte
East of Mt Shasta
Date and time of observation: 
Sun, 03/10/2019 - 2:00pm
Observation made by: 
Professional Observer

Location Map

96067 Mount Shasta , CA
United States
41° 27' 35.766" N, 122° 2' 37.5792" W
California US

Snowpack Observations


Observations Near Ash Creek Butte (7,800 ft, northeast aspect, 2:00 p.m.):

  • Height of Snow (HS): > 450 cm (177 in).
  • Height of Storm Snow (HST): 26 cm (10 in).
  • Snow Surface:
    • New precipitation particles (PP) and decomposing fragments (DF); dry, low density.
    • 20-26 cm (8-10 in) in wind sheltered areas.
    • 5-10 cm (2-4 in) along ridges and more wind affected areas.
    • Ski penetration (PS): up to 26 cm (10 in).
  • Right side up snow pack, from Fist hard (F) snow to 1 Finger (1F) hard to Pencil hard (P).
  • No obvious signs of instability were seen.
  • Snowmobile traffic has not triggered any avalanches.
  • Large cornices have formed at the top of north facing aspects.
  • Southerly aspects are wind affected, northerly aspects hold the most snow.
  • Heavy riming on trees along ridges.
  • Column and Block Test Results:
    • Column test, 11 taps, resistant planar failure down 26 cm repeated 3 times (CT11 RP x 3 ↓ 26 cm) at new/old snow interface.
    • Column test, 15 taps, sudden planar failure down 86 cm (CT15 SP ↓ 86 cm) at melt-freeze crust.
    • Deep tap test, 24 taps, sudden planar failure down 86 cm (DT24 SP ↓ 86 cm).
    • Extended column test, no propagation, 12 taps, down 26 cm (ECTN12 ↓ 26 cm).
    • Extended column test, no failure (ECTX).

Overall column and block tests did not show consistent or notable results. Of primary concern was the layer down 86 cm (34 in) that exhibited ECTPV failures last week on a similar aspect. One moderate column test failure was achieved here, but was not repeatable. No ECT results were seen here and DT tests showed hard failures.

Observations generally indicate a stable snowpack.


  • Right Side Up Snowpack
  • Column test, 15 Taps, sudden planar (CT15 SP) down 86 cm failing on thin crust, not repeatable.
  • Snow surface: dry low density snow, 20-26 cm (8-10 in)
  • Ski penetration (PS) up to 26 cm (10 in)
  • Ski penetration (PS) up to 26 cm (10 in)
  • Ski penetration (PS) up to 26 cm (10 in)
  • Ash Creek Butte weather station, heavily rimed
  • De-icing the solar panel
  • Rimed trees along ridgetops

Weather Observations


Cloud Cover: 
75% of the sky covered by clouds
Blowing Snow: 
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Speed: 
Wind Direction: