Mount Shasta has seen numerous significant avalanches already this winter. There was the historic Valentine Avalanche in February and another that slid onto the Everitt Memorial Highway near Bunny Flat in March.
Now, evidence of another avalanche was found on Avalanche Gulch and officials are worried they may continue to come this month. The Mount Shasta Avalanche Center posted a video showing the aftermath of the avalanche to Instagram:
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Avalanche Gulch: A local observer reported this avalanche today, due to recent heavy snow and rain on snow. Further investigation to follow. In the last three days, close to 4 inches of water has fallen on Mt Shasta. Snow levels climbed to 9k or higher. Visibility has been very low. This fresh avalanche mimicked the Valentines Day avalanche side path, Avalanche Gulch proper. While not as big, this slide still went a ways! Currently, colder temperatures have locked the snow up into a solid, bulletproof mass. Firm, slide for life conditions exist. Climbers: Be careful. Even the best self arrest technique may not stand until the snow softens. Surely it will with eventual spring sun, and what bounds to be a killer corn season! Video: Josh McNulty
“This fresh avalanche mimicked the Valentines Day avalanche side path, Avalanche Gulch proper,” the Avalanche Center wrote in the post. “While not as big, this slide still went a ways!”
With the warm storms coming through NorCal in April, officials say that heavy precipitation on top of lighter snow could mean more avalanches on the mountain this spring.
While the avalanche was a somewhat significant event, 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