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  1. #851
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    746
    Summited and skied today, I echo everything B Gillis said. One of those holes near the summit almost got me, thank god I was wearing ski boots. PERFECT corn from 13k to 8kish around 1:30pm
    TLDR; Ski faster. Quit breathing. Don't crash.

  2. #852
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    117
    No action shots but coverage is great from the devastated area. Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #853
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Napa Valley
    Posts
    270

  4. #854
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    117
    Not icy but a bit scratchy up top around 1130 though easily edgeable.

  5. #855
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    153
    Anyone know when roads to the backside of shasta will open up? Wheres the snowline atm?

  6. #856
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    37
    Planning a standard Alpine summit and ski of Mt. Shasta the weekend before Memorial Day - avoid the crowds somewhat and take advantage of the full moon. My current plan is to do it via Avy Gulch given trailhead/road conditions.

    Iím flying from NYC so my plan would be this:

    Friday 5/17: fly EWR to Redding, CA (RDD). Arrive in Mt. Shasta around 7pm. Sleep in town (more likely) or at Bunny Flat.

    Saturday 5/18: climb from Bunny Flat trail head to Helen Lake and camp.

    Sunday 5/19: alpine start - climb from Helen Lake to summit. Ski back to camp, pack up, ski back to car.

    Monday 5/20. Fly RDD to EWR

    Iím a 43 year-old desk jockey in good enough shape. Strong skier, solid basic mountaineering skills. Have climbed a lot in the Northeast and northern Sweden and a little in the Sierra but this will be my first Cascade volcano. Did two winter summits of Mt. Washington this year. Have winter camping and mountaineering equipment (including 2 and 3 person tents), and ski touring gear. Plan is to go up around 7am first day, set up camp and get some runs in, then an Alpine start second day to summit and ski down. Biggest challenge for me is potential for the altitude to slow me down, but I generally do ok with it - and this is the time I can get away.

    Let me know if this sounds interesting. ​​​​

  7. #857
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Eugenio Oregůn
    Posts
    7,025
    Altitude ... and weather. Hopefully you donít encounter 100 mph winds or cloudy weather on your trip! Also keep your head on a swivel for rock and icefall. falling off Red Banks can get up to 70 mph by the time itís flying by your head. Ice cube size pieces hurt like a bitch when you get tagged - the melon sized ones can kill you.

    Thereís really good skiing above Helen but depending on temps a 7 am start might have you miss the best window ... check weather and adjust plans accordingly. Iíd personally start a bit sooner and go after one of the Trinity chutes. Have fun!!!

    Donít forget $25 cash for the summit pass. You can self register at the TH.
    _______________________________________________
    "Strapping myself to a sitski built with 30lb of metal and fibreglass then trying to water ski in it sounds like a stupid idea to me.

    I'll be there."
    ... Andy Campbell

  8. #858
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    37
    Thanks for the beta. Agree with the earlier start on day 1. A post-ski nap at Helen Lake is definitely in the cards that day so getting up earlier is a good idea.

  9. #859
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    746
    Quote Originally Posted by bjorn240 View Post
    Thanks for the beta. Agree with the earlier start on day 1. A post-ski nap at Helen Lake is definitely in the cards that day so getting up earlier is a good idea.
    Sleeping at Bunny Flat (either in your car depending what you rent, or in a tent) your first night will give your body more time to acclimate to the elevation. But you're already splitting your ascent into two days, so that definitely gives you a much bigger time window to go slow at elevation.

    Not sure where the 7am number came up but that does seem on the later side. When I did it last weekend there were people getting up at 2am at Helen (way too early IMO), and I left around 6:30am because I was being lazy. I'd say somewhere in that 4am-6am window is good so that stuff softens up by the time you're ready to ski down.

    #1 thing to remember is to force yourself to eat and drink/ plan it out. First time I tried Shasta I bonked (plus partner running out of water), but it's too easy to let elevation suppress your appetite and mess up your climb.
    Last edited by NorCalNomad; 05-02-2019 at 01:01 PM.
    TLDR; Ski faster. Quit breathing. Don't crash.

  10. #860
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    37
    7am would be leaving Bunny Flat the first day. Summit day is an alpine start - probably up at 3:30 and on the move at 4:00.

    Getting out of Bunny Flat earlier on first day might just allow some skiing on Avy Gulch after setting up camp at Helen Lake.

  11. #861
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    153
    Quote Originally Posted by bjorn240 View Post
    Planning a standard Alpine summit and ski of Mt. Shasta the weekend before Memorial Day - avoid the crowds somewhat and take advantage of the full moon. My current plan is to do it via Avy Gulch given trailhead/road conditions.

    I’m flying from NYC so my plan would be this:

    Friday 5/17: fly EWR to Redding, CA (RDD). Arrive in Mt. Shasta around 7pm. Sleep in town (more likely) or at Bunny Flat.

    Saturday 5/18: climb from Bunny Flat trail head to Helen Lake and camp.

    Sunday 5/19: alpine start - climb from Helen Lake to summit. Ski back to camp, pack up, ski back to car.

    Monday 5/20. Fly RDD to EWR

    I’m a 43 year-old desk jockey in good enough shape. Strong skier, solid basic mountaineering skills. Have climbed a lot in the Northeast and northern Sweden and a little in the Sierra but this will be my first Cascade volcano. Did two winter summits of Mt. Washington this year. Have winter camping and mountaineering equipment (including 2 and 3 person tents), and ski touring gear. Plan is to go up around 7am first day, set up camp and get some runs in, then an Alpine start second day to summit and ski down. Biggest challenge for me is potential for the altitude to slow me down, but I generally do ok with it - and this is the time I can get away.

    Let me know if this sounds interesting. ​​​​
    This is totally reasonable.

    If the thumb up is in the clouds, just ski the lower mountain. It goes from dead calm to nuclear real quick up that high. Bring a compass/gps app as its easy to get turned around up high in whiteout conditions.

    How are your crampon skills? Do you have ski crampons? People with poor crampon skills front point/kick steps, freak and burn out on the steep bit from helen to the thumb. Make sure you know your french.

  12. #862
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    746
    I wouldn't bother bringing ski crampons on summit day starting at Helen. You're going to be french stepping up the whole way anyways. Except the plateau between Misery and the summit, which you don't need them. They are great getting up to Helen though if you're skinning really early or late. If your skins are full coverage nylon you could probably even get away without them if you're traveling up there mid morning.

    Do not rely on a GPS app, even on top coverage can be spotty.

    No need to have an early start on your day up to Helen. It's only 3 miles and 3.5k vert. And probably by May there will be plenty of platforms and snow walls built.
    TLDR; Ski faster. Quit breathing. Don't crash.

  13. #863
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    153
    Preloaded maps... but yeah compass is obviously smarter. GPS is global!

    I bring ski crampons whenever im in the big mountains. Nothing is shittier than slippery skins.

    Forgot to say, sleeping at BF makes more sense, and as of yet there are no parking nazis patrolling for campers.

  14. #864
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    37
    Thanks for that. I have mountaineering crampons and B&D ski crampons too. And my pied a plat and pied a canard are on point. But not en pointe!

  15. #865
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    278
    Thoughts on how this upcoming wet spell will affect Shasta? Maybe back to corn by early June?

    How was coverage faring before this precip?

  16. #866
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    37
    Looks to me like the snow line will be 6000-7000 feet. I think itíll end up adding 3-5Ē on the mountain. I plan to camp at Helen Lake on Saturday night and try to get some skiing in the chutes even if a summit bid is out of the question, so Iíll post up some updates on Sunday. If youíre going up come say hello - green Hilleberg Nammatj with some Blizzard Zero G 95s on the porch.

  17. #867
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    risin up to paradise...
    Posts
    191
    Checked the new snow yesterday, weather station measured about a foot of new and close to 3" of water at 7,600'. Snow level down to about 5,000'. The new snow definitely smoothed out the previously rough surface and the skiing was excellent. Visibility however was nil and the winds were cranking at treeline. Today should ski well and then the next storm moves in Saturday.

    I did observe significant wind loading and new slab development, this is a winter storm and we'll see a pretty big boost to the already abundant snowpack above 8,000'. Probably not the best time to camp/climb high, but we'll see...

  18. #868
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Eugenio Oregůn
    Posts
    7,025
    Quote Originally Posted by bjorn240 View Post
    Looks to me like the snow line will be 6000-7000 feet. I think itíll end up adding 3-5Ē on the mountain. I plan to camp at Helen Lake on Saturday night and try to get some skiing in the chutes even if a summit bid is out of the question, so Iíll post up some updates on Sunday. If youíre going up come say hello - green Hilleberg Nammatj with some Blizzard Zero G 95s on the porch.
    Weather at Helen is forecasted to be pretty awful on Saturday night. Unless you are used to the alpine weather on the East Coast Mt Washington (in which case this is just another balmy day) ... Iíd suggest sleeping in the car or camping out just below treeline past Horse Camp. CG/HV areas might have better skiing just getting out of those due South aspects hit by strong winds.

    Iíd definitely anticipate windslabs over the weekend and maybe even some wet slides on Monday. Pockets will be much deeper than 3-5Ē. Maybe not the best time to ski solo above 10k ...
    _______________________________________________
    "Strapping myself to a sitski built with 30lb of metal and fibreglass then trying to water ski in it sounds like a stupid idea to me.

    I'll be there."
    ... Andy Campbell

  19. #869
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Flatstar
    Posts
    281
    From Shasta Avalanche on IG this morning ..

    Clear, summer-like weather has been the norm lately, but a dramatic change in the weather over the past few days brought 6.88Ē of water, translating into 19 inches of fresh snow at treeline on the mountain. A brief break in the action now but more wet and unsettled weather is on the way. Climbers getting lost is whiteout conditions is one of the top search and rescue incidents we get every year. If you plan on coming up this weekend, we suggest carrying an avalanche beacon, shovel and probe along with the proper knowledge and skills for traveling in avalanche terrain. Visibility will likely be difficult at times and carrying proper navigation tools will also be important. Be prepared for winter conditions and make good decisions. Summits attempts will thwart most due to poor weather and deep, fresh snow.

  20. #870
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    37
    Agree. Will stick to lower angle, lower elevation slopes this weekend. On the plus side, there should be enough snow. Not too worried about the overnight conditions with our gear (and I do have a Mt Washington summit in -70 windchill in the bag this year already) - and we have avy gear and skills. But the low visibility is going to make assessing slab risk on slopes above any route very difficult, so I think staying on low angle terrain will be the right call.

  21. #871
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    37
    Turned out to be PERFECT! After talking to the climbing ranger we decided to camp at Horse Camp as the gusts at Helen weíre supposed to be 90 mph. Set up camp at Horse Camp on Saturday morning and skied two runs above Horse Camp. Overnight there were moderate winds which all but died down by midnight. I think camping at Helen would have been fine, but itís nicer to ski without camping gear anyway. Got on the move at 4am on Sunday and got to about 11,500 ft above Helen before the visibility fell too much to continue and enjoy the ski down. Skied back to Horse Camp in 8Ē of new snow. Packed up camp and then slogged down in real Sierra cement back to Bunny Flat. No summit this time, but what a mountain it is for skiing!

  22. #872
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    588
    Planning to ski Lassen tomorrow (climbing from the Devastated Area, potentially skiing the Southeast Face though if Northeast doesn't soften. Then will be poking around Shasta on Saturday and Sunday. Weather doesn't look like it'll allow for a summit attempt, but there's always a chance.

    Let me know if you'll be in the area and want to make some turns.

  23. #873
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    382
    double check the road status. the website map still shows as plowed but not open, but they did remove their park alert notice about the closure to devastated area from this round of storms.

  24. #874
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    588
    The road to the Devastated Area reopened today, website isnít updated


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  25. #875
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    588
    Left the Bay early this morning and was skinning Lassen by 6:30. Beautiful morning and then clouds moved in around 9:15, making visibility less than great for the tail end of the climb and the descent. Relatively skiable rime ice for the top 100 vertical, then perfect creamy pow for the next ~1800, great corn for another ~1700, and finally a slightly unpleasant traverse out through the trees.

    There were three tracks from yesterday and I was the only person who skied it today, seemed surprisingly quiet. Conditions are amazing, go enjoy it.

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