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Lassen Peak NW face

Location Name: 
Lassen Peak
Outside of the Forecast Area
Date and time of observation: 
Tue, 04/18/2023 - 11:00am
Observation made by: 
Red Flags:
Recent avalanche activity
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain

Location Map

96067 Mount Shasta , CA
United States
40° 29' 41.1576" N, 121° 30' 27.4716" W
California US

Snowpack Observations


After seeing potential for a foot or more of new snow forecasted I decided to drive up to Lassen from the Sierras. Starting from Manzanita lake, the road had about 2 inches of soft dry snow, great for skinning. I made my way below the Chaos crags where a small D1 avalanche was observed on the leeward side of a corniced ridge running perpendicular to the W/NW face. I traversed well below the face and towards the NW face of Lassen. Ski penetration averaged 3-4" during my approach to treeline. The face had a mix of sastrugi as deep as 8" and exposed ice. The ice would have been perfect for climbing with crampons, alas I didn't bring them. The sastrugi and ice bands became a little too difficult to kick steps in around 9500'. I descended with soft dust on crust turns after some ski cuts on the leeward aspects of the ridge dividing the face. Skins were not required to return to Manzanita lake.

  • Observation Location: Lassen Peak NW face 
  • Elevation: 9500
  • Date: 20230418
  • Time: 1100
  • Observer: Public 
  • Sky Conditions: Clear from 0830-1000. Weak storm system started moving in after 1000 obscuring view towards Manzanita lake and beyond.
  • Current Precipitation
  • Air Temperature: 12 °F
  • Surface Penetration: Ski penetration (PS) = 1-4 in (2.5-10 cm), boot penetration (PF) = 1-6 in (2.5-14 cm)
  • Total Snow Depth (HS):
  • 24-hour New Snow Depth (HN24): 4 in (10 cm) average
  • 24-hour New Snow Water Equivalent (HN24W):
  • Wind Direction: NE,E,SE
  • Wind Speed: Moderate (M), through the forest. Strong (S), 26-38 mi/hr, on the face and ridgeline above treeline 
  • Column & Block Tests:


  • View of my ascent and descent on the NW face. Lookers left of the tree in the foreground
  • Closer view of my turns on the leeward aspect
  • Small avalanche from the storm

Weather Observations


Cloud Cover: 
50% of the sky covered by clouds
Blowing Snow: 
Accumulation rate: 
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Speed: 
Wind Direction: