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Snowpack above Treeline

Location Name: 
Old Ski Bowl
Mt. Shasta
Date and time of observation: 
Sun, 01/31/2021 - 2:00pm
Observation made by: 

Location Map

96067 Mount Shasta , CA
United States
41° 22' 6.2184" N, 122° 11' 45.33" W
California US

Snowpack Observations


  • Observation Location: Old Ski Bowl, Mount Shasta
  • Elevation: 8,400 ft
  • Date: 20210131
  • Time: 1400
  • Observer: Aaron Beverly
  • Sky Conditions: Obscured (X)
  • Current Precipitation: Type - Snow (SN), Rate - 2 cm/hr (S2)
  • Air Temperature: 23 °F
  • Surface Penetration: boot penetration (PF) = 18 in (46 cm)
  • Total Snow Depth (HS): 94 in (240 cm)
  • 24-hour New Snow Depth (HN24): 5 in (12 cm)
  • Wind Direction: SW
  • Wind Speed: Light (L), 1-16 mi/hr, twigs in motion
  • Column & Block Tests:
    • Slope Angle & Aspect: 22º, SE
    • ECTP15 ↓ 6 in (15 cm), ECTX
    • CT15 SC ↓ 6 in (15 cm)
    • DTN

We made a foray into the upper regions of the Old Ski Bowl to get a picture of state of the snowpack since the series of storms that hit the area since last Sunday (01/24/21). At a location that was slightly wind-loaded, the snowpack was right side up ranging from fist to one-finger / 4F+ hard snow down to the old melt-freeze crust that dominated the surface of the snowpack prior to the storms. A thin breakable ice crust exists at all elevations we traveled just below the new snow from today.

The layer of snow from the 01/24 storm is well bonded to the old melt-freeze crust. Deep tap tests could not produce any failures at this interface. Medium, clean failures were achieved just below the ice crust from yesterday. Extended column tests were inconsistent.  One produced propagation, one did not.

The thin ice layer that formed yesterday has capped off much of the snowpack. It is not clear how far up this ice layer extends, but it was still prevalent at 8,400 ft. Snow being transported was new snow.

No other signs of instabilities were seen or felt.

Everitt Memorial Highway remains closed with no signs that it will open soon. Please know the boundaries if venturing up the highway on your snowmobiles. Anywhere to the left of the highway (north) is off limits until you get to the Old Ski Bowl.


  • Snowpack down to 01/24 melt-freeze layer
  • Column tests yield medium failures below ice crust from yesterday
  • Boot penetration to your knees
  • Breakable ice crust up to at least 8,400 ft
  • Whiteout conditions above treeline
  • Whiteout conditions above treeline
  • New snow atop thin ice layer
  • Above treeline
  • Everitt Memorial Highway is closed, no plowing has begun

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: