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Gray Butte

Location Name: 
Gray Butte via Ski Park
Mt. Shasta
Date and time of observation: 
Sat, 01/02/2021 - 1:30pm
Observation made by: 
Red Flags:
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain

Location Map

96067 Mount Shasta , CA
United States
41° 20' 48.6384" N, 122° 11' 44.7468" W
California US

Snowpack Observations


  • Observation Location: Gray Butte via Ski Park
  • Elevation: Up to 8,200 feet
  • Date: 20210102
  • Time: 1230 to 1430 hours
  • Observer: Ryan Sorenson
  • Sky Conditions: Overcast (OVC) 
  • Current Precipitation: Yes, S-1. Very light snowfall, less than 0.5 inches per hour. 
  • Air Temperature: 24.5 °F at 1400 
  • Surface Penetration: 1 to 2 in / 2-5 cm
  • Total Snow Depth (HS): ~19 in / 50 cm below-near treeline west aspect.
  • 24-hour New Snow Depth (HN24): 1-2 in / 2-5 cm
  • 24-hour New Snow Water Equivalent (HN24W):  0.1 in
  • Wind Direction: West
  • Wind Speed: 13 mi/hr at 1400

It was a misty afternoon touring up Grey Butte to look at current storm conditions. Snow levels varied from 5,500 to 6,500 feet as it lightly precipitated.  A thick, soupy fog held the visibility down to 100 feet, sometimes less.  The 1-2 inches of fresh snow sits over a shallow snowpack. Southerly aspects are thin and skinning involves weaving in and out of rocky manzanita patches. I was able to find slightly deeper snow on the protected west side of the butte.  The deepest I measured was 19 inches (50 cm). A zipper thin sun crust exists under the fresh snow. Smooth turns were possible if you were light on your feet. 

Fresh wind slabs up to a foot deep were observed on the ridgeline.  These were unreactive to stomping on small test slopes.

Winds were calm for most of the tour. A light westerly breeze was felt at the top of the ridge. 



  • 16 inch (40 cm) of snow at beacon checker.
  • Patchy skin track
  • Protected areas hold more snow
  • Rime forming on trees near the top of Grey Butte.
  • Big trees on the west aspect of Grey Butte host the deepest snowpack.

Weather Observations


See notes above. 


Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Blowing Snow: 
Mixed rain and snow
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Speed: 
Wind Direction: