Oct 16 2011

TR: Mt. Shasta – October 12, 2011

Headed up north once again.  I had to see what the last storm did to the mountain. I had been watching the snow piling up on Shasta, on the computer, and then watched as it melted away. I couldn’t take it anymore.

Drove up Tuesday and camped at the Brewer Creek TH. The road was clear all the way, but a few patches of snow lay in the shade at the trailhead.  

Woke up Wednesday to a hard freeze. Found quite a few patches of snow in the woods on the way up.

Sunrise from 8500' on the E side of Mt. Shasta

According to the Google Earth snow report there was 10 inches of snow here a few days ago. Kept my eye on it and found excellent driving/skiing conditions.

Started hiking by 5am. Got a good start on the morning with another vehicle waking me at 2:15am. I gave up sleep by 2:30 and prepared to get my jib on. After prepping with a ton of coffee and oatmeal I booted on up the gully.

The sun came up as usual and soon after I got to the lower snowfield at 9000′.

What a change from two weeks ago!

Wow! What a change from two weeks ago. The last storm had dumped several feet of snow and the strong California sun had worked it’s magic. The snow was smooth and only slightly textured.

All those sun cups were deeply buried under a layer of smooth corn. Too steep to start skinning though. I continued hiking up the right side of the first snowfield. The wind is getting stronger now. And the clouds coming over the top of the mountain are moving very fast and getting thicker.

Started skinning around 10,000 ft. Some of the snow was icy and some of it was manky corn. I was dressed a lot warmer than last time. By the time I got to skinable snow, I had my shell on. The wind was strong and cold.

Unbelievably good skiing conditions. Winter-like snow with patches of icy layers and firm corn that melted into manky slop only about a half an inch deep. The edges bottomed out to a layer of slightly soft ice. The wind had claimed certain spots and the sun seemed to effect other areas more.

Skied down to the bottom of the last snowfield at around 9000′ (YouTube video here). The snow was good to the last drop. Can I go next week?!

The Wintun Glacier dominates this view.

I was heading home and forgot to snap a few shots at some at some of my favorite view spots, but hope that these last few will redeem me.

I decided to turn around at 10,900'. The skiing was amazing!

View of the SE side of Mt. Shasta.

Was it worth 11 hours of driving? Of course! It always is.

Get your jib on! Winter is here.

More pictures as always on my Flickr page.

© 2011