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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Maine Coast
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    West coast volcano skiing and/or Eastern Sierras this June?

    This kind popped into my consciousness today and checked southwest and can get out reasonably cheaply, rent a car and camp and ski. Not tied to SW, but gives a baseline.

    I have toured the Tahoe area and down South to Mammoth a few times. Guessing still good snow if you hike and reasonable stability. I have done zero research for now, but comfortable with the area. All things equal a second choice to volcanoes

    I have never skied a volcano and been a thing for me for a while. How are things holding up? Recommendations? Short notice so more likely than not solo. Looking early June.

    Ok see both the Larsen and Sonora threads on the page. Some good information there, nice
    Last edited by cat in january; 05-23-2024 at 04:15 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    Bay Area
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    783
    Haven't been up there this year but have been tracking from afar.

    Snowfall on Lassen / Shasta this year seems to have been very good and looks like it's holding up well with fairly cold temps. Lassen road is open to Devastated so far. I'm holding off until June to make the drive up there hoping some of the other trailheads on Shasta will be open. Once climbing season really gets going avalanche gulch gets kinda trashed.

    Eastern sierra definitely has snow but it's not super fat this year. I'll be on the east side again this weekend but I suspect it's past prime. If I were you I'd be thinking about Lassen/Shasta, I think June will be good timing.

    Depending on when you come I might be able to meet up but no guarantees

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  3. #3
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    Oct 2009
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    Right on good information. See how the missus takes to the idea. Seems like easy car camping

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    386
    I’ve been skiing in both areas the last few weeks and concur with lassen Shasta over eastern Sierra for early June. There will be plenty of good skiing on both volcanoes for awhile with easy access and minimal dirt walking. It’s getting harder to find smooth snow but quality certainly isn’t bad

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    4,045
    When you say you want to ski a volcano, does that mean you want to summit and ski? Or would you be plenty happy just using the 360degrees of aspect to find good snow and ski 2000ft shots?


    Skiing out of Paradise on Rainier is about as easy access as you can get (2nd only to the next suggestion). And you will almost certainly be able to find good skiing, and also hordes of people. Hood is actually remarkably close to Rainier and you can get some lift served, and/or lift assisted touring in there too. Good camping options for hood as well where you dont have to deal with NP restrictions.

    If you enjoy big days then Adams might be a good adventure. Id stay away from Baker if your going solo as you will be glacier traveling at a time when the snowbridges are melting out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    4,045
    When you say you want to ski a volcano, does that mean you want to summit and ski? Or would you be plenty happy just using the 360degrees of aspect to find good snow and ski 2000ft shots?


    Skiing out of Paradise on Rainier is about as easy access as you can get, touring right from the car (2nd only to the next suggestion). And you will almost certainly be able to find good skiing, and also hordes of people. Hood is actually remarkably close to Rainier and you can get some lift served, and/or lift assisted touring in there too. Good camping options for hood as well where you dont have to deal with NP restrictions.

    If you enjoy big days then Adams might be a good adventure. Id stay away from Baker if your going solo as you will be glacier traveling at a time when the snowbridges are melting out.


    The big issue with volcanos is weather. Its called juneuary for a reason, and you dont want to be out on the mountain when the clouds/fog rolls in. Eastside of the sierra has a far lower chance of weather.

  7. #7
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    Oct 2009
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    Good question and information. Summiting would be cool as I have never been on top of a 14er. That elevation does have me anxious as I spend most of my life at sea level and I start to notice elevation affects on effort someplace around 7k. So likely would go to one place, ski a bunch and try to gain some acclimatization. Summiting is not essential and I would rather ski 2k shots of good snow, than climb 7k to only have 1K of worthwhile skiing.

    Also been thinking of crowds. Cool being around people, don’t want to be in a zoo especially midweek.


    I figure wind and storms will have a reliable forecast (I will have a plan b buyout, likely a backpack somewhere in the desert or some such), but how well are fog and cloud forecast? Not perfect, but good short term? NWS has no clue what’s going to happen above 10k?


    I did train for a z pull out of a crevasse a while back, but as likely solo and squat real knowledge about glaciers I would want to avoid areas where being roped up and crevasse danger exists. Comfortable climbing steep snow with crampons and an axe.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Vallee Teton
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    2,625
    Brewer is nice on Shasta if you can do that

    Direct skiing from “summit” versus the traverse over to avalanche gulch


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    Aggressive in my own mind

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    West Side WA
    Posts
    510
    Baker is still a ways out from a corn cycle and often holds up longest, although Paradise on Rainier is a good bet too. Adams and Hood are reasonable solo skis if you're experienced with big mountains but still can be dangerous

    With all the recent weather around here, I'd wait for a stretch of consolidation before hunting for corn

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    cordova,AK
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    I have skied hood and Shasta in the last 3 years. I enjoyed Shasta more. You would not have trouble skiing either. Hood was way busier. The drive to the mountain sucks. We did the route by Timberline and slept in the parking lot. Not very enjoyable. I did avalanche gulch and stayed at bunny flats. That was the available access at the time. I camped at Helen Lake as was not sure of my conditioning and timing of good snow. Probably should of just gone with early start. I enjoyed the area around Shasta and hung out and rode my bike for a few days. Mt Hood is not an area I would consider returning to.
    off your knees Louie

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Fresh Lake City
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    4,608
    ^^^no Lumarians in hood. This is the difference.


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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wenatchee
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    15,001
    I’m not familiar with the Lumarians are they related to the Lemurians?


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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Paper St. Soap Co.
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    3,365
    I have done St Helens and Adams in June years ago and skiing was good. Probably lot easier route finding now with smart phone gps, but was really easy to get lost on down due to lack of landmarks and whiteout. I'd pick Sierra, just because...but everyone should have at least one volcano experience probably and snow will most likely be better. Maybe fly into PDX, hit St Helens, Adams, Hood, drive down to Shasta.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    West Side WA
    Posts
    510
    As for the area around the various volcanoes, I really like Hood River in between Hood and Adams

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    8,031
    I'm considering throwing in the towel on life, moving to Shasta and roaming around the mtn in a white robe for the rest of my days..

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    outer spokanistan
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    1,038
    .
    Quote Originally Posted by byates1 View Post
    I'm considering throwing in the towel on life, moving to Shasta and roaming around the mtn in a white robe for the rest of my days..
    .
    white robes are for posers ....

    the truly Enlightened roam naked and barefoot

    .
    "we all do dumb shit when we're fucked up"
    mike tyson

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Galena
    Posts
    1,078
    Quote Originally Posted by cat in january View Post
    This kind popped into my consciousness today and checked southwest and can get out reasonably cheaply, rent a car and camp and ski. Not tied to SW, but gives a baseline.

    I have toured the Tahoe area and down South to Mammoth a few times. Guessing still good snow if you hike and reasonable stability. I have done zero research for now, but comfortable with the area. All things equal a second choice to volcanoes

    I have never skied a volcano and been a thing for me for a while. How are things holding up? Recommendations? Short notice so more likely than not solo. Looking early June.

    Ok see both the Larsen and Sonora threads on the page. Some good information there, nice
    Heading up to the PNW to visit my Mom today (Sat) and just saw your post. I had my GF take some Shasta pics as we were headed North on the 5.


    Shasta still holding what appears to be a healthy snowpack.


    Taken from downtown Weed.


    The Lake has more water in it than it has in years.


    From its low point in 2021 the lake level is up 183 ft! Nice to see Calif looking green for a change. Hope these help and good luck.


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  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Maine Coast
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    4,743
    Well naked does fit the ultralight model, but likely doesn’t help others serenity.

    Flight is booked arriving in Sacramento 6/5 at 1 in the afternoon and leaving late afternoon 6/12.

    Thanks everyone for your input and Eastern Sierra Skier your pictures helped to push it.

    Research focus will start with Larsen and Shasta with the thinking to spend all my time there. If weather looks poor for my window, I will identify a backup ski plan with a backup backpack plan East if looks like all the mountains are in storm. Psyched

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    cordova,AK
    Posts
    3,706
    Hope you have a great trip. Great time to be in California with fresh fruit starting. The drive out of Sac sucks but I don't think there is anyway around it
    off your knees Louie

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    125
    Lassen is ~2.5 hours from Sac. Stop in Red Bluff at Luigi's to carb up on a calzone. Recommend the north entrance for a start and finish at the Devastation Area parking lot. The road through the park will still be likely closed for snow removal. It is a National Park so lots of rules, including no camping near the road. Lots of folks will be sleeping in the their cars and I have thrown a sleeping bag on the ground out of sight w/o being hassled. YMMV. Lassen's north east side is about 4K vertical. You should be able to see your tracks from the parking lot, if that is important, and it is an excellent way to acclimate before you drive about 1.5 hours to Shasta for your meet and greet with the Lemurians. Not required, but ski crampons are nice.

    Shasta - keep checking the Shasta Climbing Rangers' observation page, or just call them for updates on the road openings. Recommend Brewers' Creek and the Hotlum/Wintun route. Top 10 corn ski run in the world when it is in. 7K vert., with continuous steep 5K fall line skiing. Less crowded and unlike Avi Gulch no rime ice balls whizzing by you on the up. The issue is will the road open or be passable to ~ a mile of the trailhead before the suncups arrive? Last year it was July 10. Years past one 200 yds section of the road was preferable in a high clearance but certainly doable in a rental sedan and last year it was smoothed out. No water at Brewers' Ck.

    Bunny Flats/Avi Gulch will be busy. Lots of folks sleeping in cars and starting their climbs/sufferfests between 3:30 a.m. - 4:30 a.m., for summit attempts. Two weeks ago there was a horde of campers about an hour/1K vert. from the car near Horse Camp where there is a spring (it is running) for water and composting toilets. I think most folks camping at Lake Helen are climbers (vs. skiers). If you pass on a summit attempt, lots of great skiing in the gulches/valleys on either side of Avi Gulch.

    No experience with the volcanos further north. However, at both Shasta and Lassen there will be folks from Oregon and Washington commenting about how relaxing it is to ski the volcanos without worrying about or negotiating crevasses (although there is plenty of that on the north side of Shasta if you want.)

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Maine Coast
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    Huge thanks for the Beta dark energy and the encouragement BFD. Sure we will cross paths again.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Bay Area
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    783
    Pic from mammoth crest today, looking south/east. Still snow out there but more and more walking is required. Volcanoes are likely the better choice, or will be very soon anyways. Click image for larger version. 

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  23. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    115
    There's one guy missing from this convo -Vets.
    Might find him on loloville.com

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