Mt. Shasta Conditions Report From Shasta Mountain Guides:
Mt. Shasta just had the best week of winter conditions so far in 2018. More than 2 feet of snow fell over 3 days with cold temperatures and light winds. We enjoyed excellent backcountry skiing and snowboarding with fresh powder and clearing skies. Snow fell in town for the first time this year and it was nice to feel the chill of the season.
It was festive and social and we were rewarded with the long awaited opening of the Mt. Shasta Ski Park. The kids were stoked and the grown ups enjoyed a lap on Grey Butte which is the easily accessed side country above the resort. We’re hoping for more cold weather so they can enjoy a longer season.
By Sunday the clouds and fog parted and the sun warmed the newly fallen snow. We had an opportunity to get into upper Avalanche Gulch before the falling rime ice and warming day encouraged the decision to ski down from 12,000′. Smooth, wind packed powder made for fast and fun skiing for over 5,000′!
It was a beautiful sunny day and we enjoyed the company of Natalia and Alex Dodov and their traveling crew the Nickolay Dodov Foundation. It was a special treat to ski with them as they share avalanche education and a passion for adventure with kids and young adults. The energy and spirit was remarkable and it was a great honor to share such a perfect day on Mt. Shasta.
It’s looking like we’re back into the dominant high pressure with mild, sunny days for the foreseeable future. Conditions may allow for some melt freeze snow conditions on the right aspects at the right time. The snow surface is currently smooth and transitioning and with planning; good skiing and climbing will be possible this week. Snow stability is generally good and avalanche hazard currently low, but there is an increasing chance of ice fall, heads up! We may even see some loose, wet avalanche activity if it gets as warm as forecasted this coming weekend.
The winter of 2018 has generally been a disappointment with unusually warm and dry weather. We are around 60% of normal for precipitation and 25% of snowpack. Conditions are great right now, but without a significant change it may be shaping up to be an early season on Mt. Shasta, plan accordingly. We are forever optimistic and know that some of our snowiest months lie ahead, but as we inch towards spring it will only get warmer. At 7,600′ there is currently about 4′ of snow on the ground on the southside of Mt. Shasta.
- Our AIARE Level I Avalanche Seminar is coming up February 16-18. There are only 4 spots open if you’re interested.
- The Denali Prep Seminar will be April 26-30. This year’s course will be led by Nicole and Forrest who have a combined 6 trips to Alaska to guide Denali; a great opportunity to learn from the pros!
- This year’s 4 day ski/board mountaineering seminar will be May 3-6. This should be ideal timing with this year’s snowpack for some classic spring corn skiing. A Mt. Shasta and Shastina combo and over 10,000′ of vertical!