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[TR] Mt Shasta - Avalanche Gulch Ski Trip 3/20/2015

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Trip: Mt Shasta - Avalanche Gulch Ski Trip


Date: 3/20/2015


Trip Report:

So it has been quite a while since I have posted a TR up here on CC, but seeing as I am living back in the PNW I figure I should share up on some of my adventures thusfar.


After a few year hiatus in the Southeast and Northeast US, I had the opportunity to come back to the PNW for grad school. I figured, grad school and living in the PNW, I will have plenty of time for climbing! I didn't realize how much time goes into grad school, especially when you have a family as well :-)


Luckily there is no shortage of climbing/skiing partners around here so the stoke is always high. After the poor snow year we have had here in Oregon we decided to check out Mt Shasta - a mountain that was having an "average" snow year...or so the blogs say. We took off on friday the final day of finals and made the drive to NorCal in a rather timely manner. We spent the night at the trailhead at bunny flat before making our way to horse camp (~7880 ft) for the rest of the weekend.


Seeing as saturday was a splitter weather day we got in a few laps in the morning before deciding to set up camp and eat some lunch. This trip was very leisurely, I was lucky to have chill parnters who were also just happy to be in the mountains. After setting up camp we decided to do one long lap for the rest of the afternoon. We skinned up just below helen lake (~10000 ft) to take in the views. The forecast for saturday night and sunday didn't seem very good (high winds, precip) but a number of climbers were hopeful to make a summit attempt. The ski back to camp was fantastic, smooth buttery corn all the way down...Best runs this year!!


After hitting the sack saturday night, the weather rolled in. The high winds and fresh new snow covered the route and made for some great early morning runs. But as the day progressed visibility significantly decreased, wind was a factor, and the warm temps made the snow feel like the standard PNW cement that everyone talks about.


The forecast didn't seem be any better for the next day so we decided to break camp and head to Umpqua hot springs for the final day! As we were breaking camp a number of climbers were descending citing the wind and low visibility for bailing. I do believe one party made it to ~13000 ft before bailing but no one made the summit on sunday.


The hot springs were relaxing and awesome albeit a little busy. But it is spring break so you can't complain too much.


For a conditions post this is a little late, but you can find good avy/weather conditions on http://shastaavalanche.org/#null

The snow was fairly isothermal while were there, but there were several point avalanches (wet slides) from the casaval ridge on climbers left. If you are skiing the ridge to the climbers right (i think it is green butte?) be careful as there are cornices on the northern aspect of those slopes. Overall the spring skiing is great! Go get it!


Enjoy some of the pictures from the trip!



Gear Notes:

Skis, and BC set up. No need for pons, ropes if you are skiing the gulch.


Approach Notes:

Start at Bunny Flat TH and skin a little overall a mile to Horse Camp at ~7880 ft. The trail is fairly obvious, but trend climbers left. The middle of the gulch is the route up but there are several lines you can take.

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