It was inevitable, we knew it would end. And although many of our neighbors are delighted by the blue sky and mild temps, deep down I was yearning, hoping, praying the snow would never stop. One of life’s greatest joys is waking early on a storm day and just listening. To the blowing wind, the snowflakes as they bounce off the window, or if it’s really deep, to the loaded snow sliding off the roof and landing with a muffled thud. We have a powder clause in our work contract here at SMG, more than 6″ and all responsibilities are rearranged as we head for the hills for a day (or at least a few hours) of pure fun. Apparently even our 4 year has the same enthusiasm for any patch of undisturbed snow elicits a joyful squeal of “Freshies!” from her gap-toothed smile. Yup, exactly.
As much as we love a good winter storm and piled up snow, especially now with SMG HQ’s acquisition of a 2 stage, hydro-static driven, 50 ton per hour snow throwing Honda Snowblower; we’re pretty happy to see some high pressure and the mountain with a thick coat of white. Never one to attempt to predict weather and storm patterns, we typically see a high and dry period and we might as well enjoy it. After the storm tracks let up we were left with a 2 week cold snap that brought the coldest temps of the winter, single digits and blowing north winds made for some pretty chilly days and well preserved powder. Finally, the winds let up and the Arctic air moved on and we’re now enjoying some beautiful winter weather up here on Mt. Shasta.
This is an opportunity to get into the mid and upper elevations on the mountain, and for the motivated, this weekend could make for a legitimate summit opportunity. High temps are hitting 50 in town and with an inversion, it could feel downright warm on the mountain. We used this to find the classic mid winter corn cycle and scored a great early harvest on the steeper south east slopes which receive the most solar input in January.
So with the MLK weekend here, it looks to be a great time to be on the mountain. Spring like temps, light winds, and the prospect of finding some corn snow are all very attractive. Plus tonight is the local showing of the Winter Wildlands Film Festival hosted by the Mt. Shasta Nordic Center and no doubt some goggle tanned smiling faces to be seen.
Don’t forget about our Level I Avalanche Seminar next weekend Friday-Sunday January 25-27, we still have space available. Winter is just warming up, there is still plenty of backcountry days left, learn the necessary skills while exploring the snowy Mt. Shasta.
We’re off to the Outdoor Retailer industry trade show next week in Salt Lake City. We’ll visit with friends, stay current on our AIARE qualifications, try out some new gear, and hopefully enjoy some of that pow Utah is famous for. stay tuned for details and more from Mt. Shasta.