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Gray Butte

Location Name: 
Gray Butte
Mt. Shasta
Date and time of observation: 
Mon, 03/15/2021 - 1:00pm
Observation made by: 
Red Flags:
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks, or collapsing

Location Map

96067 Mount Shasta , CA
United States
41° 20' 48.2388" N, 122° 11' 47.0256" W
California US

Snowpack Observations


On a tour up Gray Butte, we encountered around 5 inches of new, light density snow sitting on top of a thin breakable crust. Winds were calm to light and very little wind effect was seen in the snow. Some small drifts produced shooting cracks and blocking behavior.

Column tests and shovel tilt tests produced easy failures below and above the crust. Extended column tests produced propagation about half way across the block. We felt this could indicate a potential for a storm slab problem.

We dug down to the stout crust existing before last Wednesday's storm. Snow is well bonded there. Snowpack is right side up varying from 1F to 4F to F hardness.

  • Observation Location: Gray Butte
  • Elevation:  7,720 ft
  • Date: 20210316
  • Time: 1300
  • Observer: Aaron Beverly
  • Sky Conditions: Overcast
  • Current Precipitation: Type - NO
  • Air Temperature: 21 °F
  • Surface Penetration: Ski penetration (PS) = 5 in (13 cm)
  • 24-hour New Snow Depth (HN24): 5 in (13 cm)
  • Wind Direction: E
  • Wind Speed: Light (L), 1-16 mi/hr
  • Column & Block Tests:
    • Slope Angle & Aspect: 25º, W
    • ECTN8 ↓ 8 in (20 cm)
    • CT2 SP ↓ 8 in (20 cm), CT3 BRK ↓ 8 in (20 cm)
    • Shovel Tilt - Easy


  • Right side up snowpack with breakable crust under new snow
  • Easy column test failures
  • Shooting cracks
  • Ski penetration

Weather Observations


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