Mt. Shasta early winter report

It’s snowing on the mountain! We are at the start of a wet weather cycle here in Mt. Shasta and are hoping this will get us into a winter pattern of frequent storms and snow. There was little snow below 9,500′ prior to this, therefore it will take several feet before we are skinning or snow shoeing from Bunny Flat trailhead, possibly as early as next week. Always the optomists, we will be checking the trailhead daily.

Mt. Shasta sunrise

Mt. Shasta sunrise

We are waiting for the backcountry skiing to begin on Mt. Shasta and look forward to ski touring and winter conditions on the mountain. For the dedicated, there is always the possibility of fun and interesting tours on Mt. Shasta. Nick and I discovered nice snow both for climbing and sliding in Cascade Gulch recently. With the current new precipitation, glacier skiing and select gullies may have reasonable ski conditions although with significant approaches.

Cascade Gulch

Cascade Gulch

This view is what led Clarence King to “discover” that glaciers existed in the United States and to publish a scientific account of the glaciers of Mount Shasta based on his visit in September, 1870. Another interesting fact is that Mt. Shasta’s glaciers are currently in a period of growth on Mt. Shasta’s north and east sides.

Whitney Glacier

Whitney Glacier

There is lots to explore on Mt. Shasta as long as you’re flexible to enjoy whatever the current conditions allow. Hiking, trail running, mountain biking, and ski mountaineering are all possible while we wait for our winter snowpack to fill in.

Backcountry riding

Backcountry snowboarding

We’re watching the storm totals closely and will be out on skis as soon as possible. Get in touch if you have any questions and keep up the snow dance. At this point it’s too early to predict how this will effect the summer climbing season, we are hoping to at least come close to average snow depths. Check back for the latest conditions.

We are planning to run the upcoming AIARE Avalanche Level I Course February 15 to 17 and March 14-16. We will offer winter skills, ski tours, and summit expeditions as soon as conditions improve.


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