The backcountry slopes of Mount Shasta saw a series of big avalanches over the past few days after heavy storm dumped a bunch of snow on the mountain’s weak snowpack.
The extra weight of the new snow, especially on the south and east sides of the mountain, caused the snow to slide down in big chunks. Some well-known spots like Casaval Ridge, Green Butte, and Green Butte Ridge were hit by these snow slides.
Photos of the avalanches were shared to the Shasta Avalanche Center Instagram page:
Two of the biggest avalanches happened in Sun Bowl and Powder Bowl, which are popular spots near Bunny Flat. These avalanches were huge – around 2,000 feet long, 1,000 feet wide, and about 40 inches deep.
The avalanches were found after the storm cleared on Tuesday, and they might have been set off by a cornice breaking off from the ridge. The snow slid down from a weak layer that was buried deep under the surface, a layer that formed back at the end of December. This is something to keep an eye on in the near future for backcountry enthusiasts.
These avalanches are a big reminder that even the spots we know and love for fun in the snow can be unpredictable and dangerous. Be careful out there.