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Mount Shasta - South Side

Location Name: 
Mount Shasta
Mt. Shasta
Date and time of observation: 
Fri, 03/12/2021 - 9:30am
Observation made by: 
Red Flags:
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
Rapid warming

Location Map

96067 Mount Shasta , CA
United States
41° 21' 58.0788" N, 122° 11' 56.526" W
California US

Snowpack Observations


A day of full sun and temperatures several degrees warmer than yesterday. Winds died down considerably near and below treeline, but left behind plenty of evidence of past destruction. Strong wind was visible (blowing snow) on the upper mountain, well above treeline, along Sargents and Green Butte ridges, Redbanks and the Summit Plateau. Did not see any new avalanches, but found plenty of deep, hollow wind drifts well over 2 feet deep on SE-S-SW aspects. A 2-3 inch wind crust formed over the new snow in wind exposed areas, capping off the soft, fist hard storm snow below. The crust (slab) could be easily triggered upon isolation in pit tests. This shallow slab rests on top of soft snow and if an avalanche was triggered, if large enough could easily gouge into deeper snow layers. Snow surfaces are smooth in some locations and wind affected in others. A sun crust can be found at lower elevations below treeline. Did not observe any rollerballs, but was off the mountain around noon. 

  • Observation Location: South Side Mt Shasta
  • Elevation: 6950 to 9000 feet
  • Date: 20210312
  • Time: 0900-1200
  • Observer: N Meyers
  • Sky Conditions: Clear (CLR) 
  • Current Precipitation: NO 
  • Air Temperature: 36 °F at noon, warming
  • Surface Penetration: Knee to thigh deep in most areas
  • Total Snow Depth (HS): 90 in (228 cm)
  • 24-hour New Snow Depth (HN24): 0 in (0 cm)
  • 24-hour New Snow Water Equivalent (HN24W): 0 in (0 cm)
  • Wind Direction: N | NE | E | SE
  • Wind Speed: Below treeline: Calm (C), 0 mi/hr / Near and above treeline: Light (L), 1-16 mi/hr, twigs in motion /

    Upper mountain: Strong (S), 26-38 mi/hr, whole trees in motion 


  • Snowpit near treeline, ~8,000 feet
  • Snowpit near treeline, ~8,000 feet
  • Snowpit near treeline, ~8,000 feet
  • Mt Shasta in background with wind affected snow surface in foreground. In many areas, a firm wind crust has capped off the soft, underlying snow.
  • Very easy, shallow slab failures beneath wind crust
  • Very easy, shallow slab failures beneath wind crust
  • Example of snow surfaces near and above treeline.
  • Example of snow surfaces near and above treeline.
  • Example of snow surfaces near and above treeline, smooth in this wind loaded area.
  • The upper mountain and spindrift blowing around
  • Green Butte and a few point releases
  • Gray Butte looking quite wind affected
  • Old slides off a westerly facing aspect near/above treeline.
  • Sastrugi features are widespread near/above treeline

Weather Observations



Cloud Cover: 
Blowing Snow: 
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Above Freezing
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