Mt. Shasta, CA Conditions Report: Sunshine & High Elevation Powder

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Climbers Gully Mt. Shasta. Image: Shasta Mountain Guides

Mt. Shasta Conditions Report:

By: Chris & Jen – Shasta Mountain Guides

It’s the first of May and we are in full operation for the 2018 season. We wrapped up a busy weekend on Mt. Shasta and the guides are training this week to provide our guests with exceptional service on the mountain.

We’ve observed that weather forecasts here are incredibly inaccurate and that we don’t base decisions on forecasts. Good thing, because by the time the storm cleared Sunday we were blessed with 5-6″ of new snow, light winds, cold temps, and clear skies. For the skiers on our first summit climb and ski descent of the season, they were rewarded with some of the most epic conditions we could hope for on Mt. Shasta. Cold, stable powder for over 6,000′ was scored and everyone was thrilled. Dane reached the summit and reported fantastic skiing and riding for the entire team.

Patrick Chu skis below the Red Banks. Image: Shasta Mountain Guides

It didn’t come without some challenges and hard work. Friday and Saturday were cool and stormy with limited visibility and difficult weather. Precip and possible thunderstorms were forecasted to last through Sunday however this was not to be. We stuck with our intended plan and experienced high elevation powder that is a rare and spectacular experience in the Cascades.

Ivy snowboards perfect Mt. Shasta powder. Image: Shasta Mountain Guides

The highlight was sharing this with our guest Marianne, a dedicated and passionate skier who celebrated her 70th birthday on Mt. Shasta and her 3rd trip with SMG. Thanks Marianne, we’re so stoked you got powder for your birthday!

Marianne shredding Mt. Shasta at 70! Image: Shasta Mountain Guides

We also had a crew training on the Denali Prep Seminar and guides Nicole and Fisher are headed out next week for their Denali Expeditions with Mountain Trip. A full and informative seminar was enjoyed with some AK like weather and great conditions for training.

Basecamp Mt. Shasta. Image: Shasta Mountain Guides

Our Casaval team experienced the challenges of the ridge ascent and had a great time in some seriously nasty weather. Despite this, they were stoked and have made plans to reunite next season for another attempt. And finally our Avalanche Gulch team ascended in cold, wintery conditions on Monday and all made the summit in great alpine style!

Casaval Ridge climb team at high camp. Image: Shasta Mountain Guides

Congratulations to everyone who participated this week. With a lower than average snow pack, it will be an earlier season with best conditions on the south side in May and June and into July and early September for the north side glacier routes. The only trailhead open is Bunny Flat at 7,000′ and there is about 1-2′ of patchy snow remaining. The Clear Creek trailhead is about 3 miles out, Brewer Creek about 6 miles out and Northgate about 1.5 miles out. We are nearing capacity for many of our group and private climb dates. Please be in touch soon for a climb this season.

Be safe, have fun, and see you on the mountain!

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