Massive Avalanche Falls on Mount Shasta Creating 60-Foot Snow Walls

Photo: Mount Shasta Avalanche Center

Mount Shasta witnessed a colossal natural event this President’s Day, as a massive D4 avalanche, the second-largest classification, unfolded in Avalanche Gulch. The avalanche, which occurred unnoticed on February 19th, 2024, during a potent winter storm, was discovered two days later, leaving both locals and experts in awe at its magnitude and thankfully, without any casualties.

Photo: Mount Shasta Avalanche Center

The storm, which started on February 17th, unleashed nearly continuous precipitation over four days, blanketing Mount Shasta with 2.5-3 feet of fresh snow at treeline elevations and even more at higher altitudes.

Data from the Old Ski Bowl weather station, located on the south side of Mount Shasta at 7,900 feet, recorded 6.57 inches of snow-water equivalent from the storm. The Everitt Memorial Highway was closed as a precaution during this intense weather event.

Originating at approximately 12,000 feet, the avalanche carved its path over 3 miles and descended 5,000 vertical feet through Avalanche Gulch. Its immense force created walls up to 60 feet deep and left behind debris piles that were even deeper. Initially dry, the avalanche gained wet characteristics as it barreled down to its terminus near 7,200 feet.

This event mirrors the Valentine’s Day avalanche of 2019, both in its path and the astonishing volume of snow deposited in the runout zone. Such natural phenomena, while daunting, underscore the raw power and beauty of nature in Northern California’s iconic landscapes. See more photos of the President’s Day Avalanche here.

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