Mt Shasta Access & Conditions Update

Mt Shasta Access & Conditions Update

The Hotlam-Bolam Route on Mt Shasta as of 5-20-2024.  Photo: Mt Shasta Avalanche Center


Mt Shasta Access & Backcountry Skiing Conditions Update

2024-05-21  |  Mt Shasta Roads & Trailheads

✅ Bunny Flat - Open

Still skinnable to and from the trailhead!  And conditions are incredible!

 Northgate Trailhead - .5 Miles from the Trailhead

From Mt Shasta Avalanche Center:

Northgate Access update 5.20.2024 ~

The trailhead remains a half mile out. You cannot drive to the trailhead due to several patches of snow, but it’s getting close.

The trailhead has been fully equipped with Wilderness Permits, Summit Passes ($25 cash/check only) and human waste pack out bags for self-issue, day or night. ✅

Please park vehicles in previously impacted areas and fully off the road. 👍

Conditions on the Hotlum and Bolum Glaciers look phenomenal, prominent cracks are beginning to show, otherwise the majority remains covered and clean. A remote and less trafficked side of the mountain, also requiring glacier travel skills, not for novice climbers.

 Brewer Creek Trailhead - Still Miles out

Unfortunately, the Brewer Creek trailhead, and the access to one of our favorite ski lines, is still a few miles out due to snow.  We'll update this as we know more, but as of 5/10/2024 the road was blocked by snow 10 miles out.

⛷️ 🏂 Mt Shasta Ski Conditions 2024-05-21

Jason Smith, one of our premier Shasta Ski and Mountain Guides, just got out of the field and shared this conditions report:

Mt Shasta is featuring perfect corn skiing, hire one of our Shasta mountain guides to find the goods
Avalanche Gulch on Mt Shasta in prime condition on Mt Shasta as skied on 5-19-2024.  Photo: Jason Smith

Coverage is still amazing on the mountain- skiable  snow line down below 6k in some places.  Access from the bunny flat trailhead is melting out quickly- many new rocks, bushes and dirt patches starting to show on solar aspects near the trailhead but one can still ski all the way to the parking lot with ease.  The large Presidents’ Day avalanche from off of Shastaramia point filled the entire climbers right fork of avalanche gulch stopping around 600 yards from the parking lot.  This deposited snow has made lower avalanche gulch into an expressway- zero route finding needed and a nice flat five lane highway up or down the gulch.

Snow above 12000’ is a mixed bag of transitional snow and rime ice.  This makes for some tricky skiing, a bit of unpredictable walking and some very poor travel conditions in steeper terrain.  However there is snow and ice on places on the upper mountain that I’ve never seen it stay this late in the season- or mid winter for that matter.  We were able to ski off the summit block of shastina yesterday all the way down cascade gulch to the confluence of giddy giddy, and could have skied perhaps another 1000 feet lower down the drainage had we felt more adventurous.  

Mountain Guides on Shastina and the West Face of Mt Shasta
Shastina, Cascade Gulch and the West Face of Mt Shasta as skied on 5-21-2024.  Photo: Jason Smith

Between 12000’ and 8000’ on S, SW, W and NW aspects there is perfect corn.   Unbelievable how good the ski quality has been in these elevation bands.  Below that the suncups are starting to form quickly in many places.  They are growing rapidly- the corn skiing was perfect and smooth down to 7000’ last week and has now started to before a bit rough but still very fun easy skiing if you have good timing. 

The weather has been amazing this past week- mostly clear skies and warm temps during the day intermixed with cold nights and the occasional wind event has helped the snowpack heal and led to this perfect corn cycle.  I have seen no evidence of recent avalanches- a few wet loose up to D 1.5 in size this time last week but the hard freezes we had since then have locked things up nicely.  Very little in the way of boot penetration even in the warmest part of the afternoon.

Mountain Guides on the Avalanche Gulch route of Mt Shasta
A guided skier making perfect corn turns on Avalanche Gulch on Mt Shasta 5-18-2024.  Photo: Jason Smith

Rockfall has been becoming more frequent as the winter ice thaws on the upper mountain- I’d recommend climbing through any overhead hazard before things above you get much if any sun on them.  

Looking at the north side of the mountain things look a bit thin up high- lots of highly textured and wind affected snow visible.   Sounds like the north gate trailhead is almost snow free- only a half mile away per the latest update.  Brewer creek if probably going to be much longer to open- there is snow down to 5000 on the east side of the mountain.  

In conclusion- The current Shasta season may be one of, if not the best in the past decade.  Aside from a bit of transitional snow above 12000’ the mountain is in amazing shape.   The upper elevation snow will change quickly towards corn looking at this weeks weather forecast.  The next month here on MT.  Shasta looks to be some of the best skiing in climbing conditions one could hope for.  

Conditions are primed, come out and ski with us!

Shastina, Cascade Gulch and the West Face of Mt Shasta as skied on 5-21-2024.  Photo: Jason Smith
Shastina and Mt Shasta as splitboarded on 5-21-2024
Shastina and Mt Shasta as splitboarded on 5-21-2024.  Photo: Jason Smith
Skinning up.  Photo: Jason Smith
Warm temps have baked out the imperfections with the snow surface, corn skiing is in primo shape!  Photo: Jason Smith


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