For the second time in a little over a month, an avalanche has hit Mount Shasta.
On Monday afternoon, the avalanche occurred above the Everitt Memorial Highway below Bunny Flat on Mount Shasta. The wet-slab avalanche happened at 6,900 feet and slid roughly 80 feet down the hill.
The event was caused by water trickling through melting snow, separating a lighter pack of snow from its thicker base below. The shift in snow fell all the way down to the highway below, creating a wall of snow 8-feet deep.
“Wet slab avalanches are rare and hard to predict, but occur during periods of rapid warming which causes underlying bonds to weaken,” said the Mount Shasta Avalanche Center on Facebook.
While the avalanche was a somewhat significant event on a typically high-traffic area on the mountain, it paled in comparison to the historic Valentine Avalanche that slammed the mountain in mid-February. The Valentine Avalanche registered as a D4 avalanche, which is one notch away from the largest.
The avalanche sent a wall of debris 30-feet high down Avalanche Gulch, burying everything in its wake down 4,000 feet of the mountain. Officials believe it was the biggest avalanche the mountain has seen in 100 years.
With the large amounts of snow that fell on Shasta this winter, avalanche concerns have been high during the past month. Skiers and outdoor adventurers should use caution in the area and learning avalanche safety could be crucial to your well-being on the mountain.
Northern California’s Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine