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Gray Butte

Location Name: 
Gray Butte
Mt. Shasta
Date and time of observation: 
Wed, 02/27/2019 - 2:00pm
Observation made by: 
Professional Observer
Red Flags:
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks, or collapsing
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain

Location Map

96067 Mount Shasta , CA
United States
41° 20' 44.4408" N, 122° 11' 46.1112" W
California US

Snowpack Observations


Observations on tour from Mount Shasta Ski Park parking lot to summit of Gray Butte:

  • Very deep surface snow, ski penetration 36-50 cm (14-20 in)
  • Below treeline surface snow (< 7000 feet) had slab-like characteristics: blocking and easy hand shears, cracking without much propagation beyond ski tips.
  • Wind affected areas were reactive to ski trigger.
  • Height of snow near summit of Gray Butte: > 500 cm (> 197 in), could not hit ground.
  • Right side up snow pack near treeline: Fist to 1 finger hardness to 2/13/19 crust.
  • Column tests on west aspect at 8000 feet did not produce notable results:
    • Column Test 3 Taps Sudden Planar Break (CT3 SP) ↓ 13 cm (5 in).
    • Column Test 21 Taps Non-planar Break (CT21 BRK) ↓ 42 cm.
    • Column Test 27 Taps Resistant Planar Break (CT 27 RP) ↓ 120 cm.
    • ECTX.
  • Skiing indicated storm slab potential in top 13 cm (5 in).
  • Late afternoon, below treeline snow surfaces were wet and heavy.
  • Deep tree wells below treeline.
  • No signs of recent avalanches, though visibility was limited.


  • Deep surface snow, ski penetration 14-20 inches.
  • Easy hand shears below treeline (< 7000 ft).
  • Wind slabs reactive.
  • Column Test 3 Taps (13 cm, 5 in)
  • Cracking on ridge 7,600 Feet
  • Low visibility above treeline

Weather Observations


Cloud Cover: 
100% 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: