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Southside Conditions: Old Ski Bowl, Grey Butte tour

Location Name: 
Old Ski Bowl and Grey Butte
Mt. Shasta
Date and time of observation: 
Sat, 01/09/2021 - 12:30pm
Observation made by: 
Red Flags:

Location Map

96067 Mount Shasta , CA
United States
41° 21' 41.8572" N, 122° 12' 2.1348" W
California US

Snowpack Observations


The northwesterly winds kicked in again this morning with an impressive lenticular cloud stationed on the upper mountain.  Strong winds were observed in the Old Ski Bowl as we practiced avalanche rescue between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Skies cleared by noon, and the winds died down as well.  Without the breeze, it was possible to feel the extent of the temperature rise.

  • Observation Location: Old Ski Bowl, Grey Butte
  • Date: 20210109
  • Time: All Day
  • Observer: R Sorenson
  • Sky Conditions: Scattered (SCT) clouds on the upper mountain in the morning, clearing to few (FEW) in the afternoon.
  • Current Precipitation: NO
  • Air Temperature: High of 44 °F near treeline
  • Surface Penetration: Boot penetration (PF) = 7-11 in / 20 - 30 cm
  • Total Snow Depth (HS): 47 in / 120 cm
  • Wind Direction: NW 
  • Wind Speed: Strong winds in the morning, then calm in the afternoon. 

After the snowmobile avalanche awareness course, we took a tour of Old Ski Bowl and around Gray Butte to look at conditions. The winds had died down at this point, and it wasn't long before we were taking off layers and wiping sweat from our brows. We noticed rollerballs forming on southerly aspects, and trees began to drip by mid-afternoon. Looking at the upper mountain, it's hard to miss the scoured north and westerly aspect of ridges and moraine tops. However, snow surfaces below and near treeline remain smooth. The woods are ridable, but I wouldn't throw caution to the wind. Many rocks, logs, and bushes remain barely hidden. There were no obvious signs of avalanche danger or instabilities observed today. 


  • The Old Ski Bowl from upper parking lot. Note lenticular cloud on upper mountain. Strong northwesterly winds in the morning then calm to light winds in the afternoon.
  • Looking up St Germain Bowl and Old Ski Bowl from the east boundary.
  • Looking south towards Yellow Butte from the east boundary.
  • Warming temps in the afternoon. Note roller balls triggered on south-facing slope.
  • Smooth snow surfaces on west face of Gray Butte.
  • A deeper snowpack exists below treeline.
  • East aspect of Gray Butte.
  • Track back to Bunny Flat.

Weather Observations


See details above. Lenticular cloud on the upper mountain. Strong northwesterly winds in the morning, then calm to light winds in the afternoon. Warm temperatures throughout the day. High of 44 F at 10 a.m.


Cloud Cover: 
25% of the sky covered by clouds
Blowing Snow: 
Accumulation rate: 
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Speed: 
Wind Direction: