I’m finally about to report on the most legit corn skiing of “the season” and Tahoe is supposed to get 3-6″ at the high elevations by tomorrow afternoon. We’ve said it before, and I guess we’re saying it again; What a Season! Seriously though, if you’re bummed on the weather relax, it’ll be gone when the first rays of the sun hit it Wednesday afternoon. However, in terms of potentially smoothing out sun cups for those who figure, why not ski in the summer if there’s snow, that’s the mentality you should have right now. It’s 100% summer everywhere you look down low, but if you feel like skiing this June/July there sure are a lot of options up high.
Although Tahoe and the Eastside are still holding massive amounts of snow California’s Cascade Volcanoes to the north are where it’s at right now. Well, the last few days anyway. For the next few they’re going to be pretty stormy, with potentially 10+ inches forecasted to fall on Mt. Shasta by Wednesday night, but by the weekend, that should be all settled out again (hopefully).
The best corn skiing on the planet. That is the real purpose of this piece and the next two that will follow covering Mt. Shasta’s Trinity Chutes and Lassen Peak’s East Face. I sincerely love my backyard in Tahoe and the Eastside, but I’ve never skied better corn in my time on this earth than on Mt. Shasta. Corn is great, but when it’s almost as good as powder skiing, that’s something, and that’s what is possible to lock into on California’s trifecta of volcanoes that almost seem like they were created for skiers and riders.
Mt. Shasta is one of my favorite mountains in the world, but Jillian and I decided to start our three day volcano run on Shastina since it was a Saturday and we were hoping to ditch out on the numerous climbers and skiers heading up Avalanche Gulch early that morning. Neither of us had skied Shastina before and I’m hear to tell you if you head up that way looking to harvest the goods think about fitting Shastina in on your plans. Shasta proper remains the holy grail, but Shastina will get you away from the crowds and offers up the same quality in terms of corn skiing, which basically means it’s about as good as it gets. As of this past weekend, it was firing off the corn I mentioned earlier in this post, the kind that allows you to ski anyway you want because it’s just that perfect.
All the pictures in this post are from our day up on Shastina. The cover shot is the peak itself, and the next three that follow are of different vantage points as we ascended. We were able to skin most of the way, but there were a few short sections where crampons were super helpful.
As we got closer to the top we we came across this super cool glacial lake looking prime to practice one’s pond skimming skills for the upcoming Cushing Classic,
and got some amazing views from the top. There’s way more terrain up here than I’ve ever been able to scope before. I try and ski Shasta every year, maybe even a few times if I’m lucky, but somehow neglected to give this zone much attention. Not anymore.
Here you can see some of the lower section of the Whitney Glacier and Mount Shasta to the north.
This shot reminds me of skiing in Northern Africa with the stark contrast of high elevation rock and snow up high, with lush fields and warm weather down below.
We didn’t stop to shoot many ski shots on the way down because it was way too good to not jut lay in and slay it for all it was worth. But we did get a few. Here’s the top of Shastina, covered in hard to ski ice rime much like Shasta’s proper summit usually is. It was still skiable, albeit with an old school double pole plant start.
Here’s Jillian enjoying one of her many turns down the 5500′ or so foot run of perfection,
and a nice shot showing Shastina on the left and the West Face of Mount Shasta on the right. Shasta’s West Face is one of the best corn runs you’ll ever ski and is also in perfect shape right now.
Back at the car, fired up on the best corn either of us had skied since 2010, we rested up and planned for the next day’s mission. We weren’t sure if we’d be all good since the weather changes on Shasta in an instant, and some clouds developed that socked in the upper mountain before sunset.
But sunset was unreal, and we figured we just wake up and charge for either the West Face or the Trinity Chutes and hope for the best. We weren’t disappointed.