Zeb Blais, IFMGA Mountain Guide and Director of Blackbird Mountain Guides, taking a crew of ski mountaineers for a climb during a recent Ski Mountaineering Skills course on Donner Summit in Truckee. Photo: Ali Agee....
We couldn't have timed conditions better for our West Face summit and ski descent on Mt Shasta with Daron Rahlves. With warm temps at night and high winds forecast, had us on guard about climbing and skiing conditions, but conditions turned out to be incredible!
Our mission was to summit Mount Baker and ski from the top in a day. Originally, we had been planning to spend few days on the mountain, skiing various routes, but with stormy weather incoming for the next couple days we knew we had to make it work in a day. It was going to be a solid push, but we were excited to get a big day of skiing in before the weather shut us out.
Memorial Day weekend continued the trend of wacky weather with frigid temperatures around 10 degrees at 12,000’. Even with the strong California sun doing its magic on the snow, it was hard to imagine the surface softening significantly. It seemed that the weekend might be a bust, but we shrugged off the potential for disappointment and made an attempt on one of the Mount Shasta's best ski descents: the Hotlum Wintun.
Climbing and skiing bigger mountains involves recognizing and managing the hazards that the mountains throw at you. Here are some great ideas to step up your game to help you can make the transition from backcountry skier to ski mountaineer!
If one photo of this incredible mountain isn't convincing enough, here's six more reasons to ski or climb Mt. Shasta as soon as possible!