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Summit - Upper Avalanche Gulch

Location Name: 
Mount Shasta
Mt. Shasta
Date and time of observation: 
Thu, 02/16/2023 - 11:30am
Observation made by: 

Location Map

96067 Mount Shasta , CA
United States
41° 23' 56.7636" N, 122° 12' 2.5236" W
California US

Snowpack Observations


A local crusher and his comrade ventured above Helen Lake via Avalanche Gulch yesterday. One went all the way to the summit. We will let them do the talking here. In Avalanche Gulch, "...within a 50 yard radius, snow surfaces ranged from wind packed powder, to hard melt/freeze wind board to icy chicken heads to sastrugi 1.5 feet tall."  Also...."The worst conditions I’ve ever encountered above Helen Lake. A lot of fallen rock on the snow, and the Heart/Redbanks headwall was a checkerboard of wind board snow and clear rime ice. Not skiable from summit to base of Misery Hill without a ton of rock strikes and riding the chicken head jackhammer."  There you have it. If you need it described in other terms -- variable and gnarly! Don’t take this lightly. One must not fall in steep terrain. 

  • Observation Location: Mt Shasta, Avalanche Gulch, Summit
  • Elevation: 10,000 to 14,179 feet
  • Date: 20230217
  • Time: 1130 hours
  • Observer: Compiled by N Meyers. Conditions reports/photos by J Koster and J Kuenzle
  • Sky Conditions: Few (FEW) 
  • Current Precipitation: none
  • Air Temperature:  27°F - max temp at 8,000 feet, 1000 hours
  • Surface Penetration: zero
  • Total Snow Depth (HS): 124 inches at treeline
  • 24-hour New Snow Depth (HN24): none
  • 24-hour New Snow Water Equivalent (HN24W): none
  • Wind Direction: SW 
  • Wind Speed: Light (L), 1-16 mi/hr, twigs in motion


  • Upper Avalanche Gulch
  • Upper Avalanche Gulch
  • Upper Avalanche Gulch
  • Upper Avalanche Gulch
  • Upper Avalanche Gulch
  • Icy, chicken heads
  • Summit Plateau
  • Summit Plateau

Weather Observations



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