Skiing Mt. Shasta
On California’s far northern border with Oregon sits Mt. Shasta. The 14,127ft tall volcano is Calfornia’s highest and a sister peak to Mt Rainier. This stratovalcano sits uniquely above all the other peaks in the area with a promenice of over 7,000ft. It truely stands alone as a massive sight of rock and snow with long serpentine ridges that stretch for miles and long bowls and faces that rise almost a mile and a half above the trailheads.
To say that Mt. Shasta can get a lot of snow is an understatement. The mountain averages over 450 inches of snow a year and has twice set records for snowfall in a storm. The last time was in December of 2012 when the mountain received over 148″ of snow in just 4 days. The result of the Shasta’s unique weather is that the south facing slopes of the mountain are covered in snow for most of the year and the north facing slopes hold glaciers hundreds of feet deep.
The combination fo the terrain and the snow makes Mt. Shasta one of the best peaks in the
country for ski mountaineering. The slopes long steep angles and skiable snow lasting often into July make it the perfect training ground for the aspiring ski mountaineer.
More information about Mt. Shasta and climbing the peak as well as a handful of ski descents can be found in the book Climbing Mt. Shasta by SWS Mountain Guides Publishing.