If there’s a mountain that boasts better corn skiing than Mt. Shasta, please let me know. I’d love to check it out. In the meantime if you’re looking for a taste of guaranteed perfect corn skiing make some plans to head north. While access to the east side of Mt.Shasta is still a bit out (6 miles of snow covered road to the Brewer Creek TH), access to ski the West Face or the Trinity Chutes from the Avalanche Gulch route, via the Bunny Flat TH, is prime right now.
After a brilliant ski off Shastina the day before, Jillian and I headed up Avi Gulch the following day in search of some more perfect corn skiing. With loose plans to make a final descent plan once we were higher on the mountain, as we ascended, it was clear that the previous nights cloud cover had little influence on the current snow conditions. Corn was ripening by the second with the warm rays of the June sun in full effect, and even though the previous days mission allowed us to size up the West Face, one of the best corn runs you’ll ever ski, the Trinity Chutes looked too good to pass up.
When you leave from Bunny Flat whether in the dark or at dawn for a one day push, make sure you weave your way towards Horse Camp for the fastest approach.
Our climb was smooth and swift. Firm climbing conditions meant we could make quick time to Helen Lake, where a lot of climbers camp to break up a Shasta summit attempt into two or even three days.
We continued up to the Red Banks,
and moved on through to the confluence of Misery Hill.
We had planned to head for the summit, but after conditions changed from perfect corn to a mixture of melt-freeze chicken-head ice chunks below Misery Hill we weighed our options. Since a few skiers and riders had just skied the bowl immediately skiers left of the Trinity Chutes, in what appeared to be ideal conditions, and we had both dropped in from the summit on previous trips, we decided it was better to just head over to the Trinity Chutes and get them while they were perfect. We linked up with a couple of the rangers to ski the Trinity Chutes and were stoked with our decision!
Don’t forget to get your summit passes when you plan to come up and ski high on the mountain. They’re only $20 bucks for a three day pass, or $30 bucks for an annual pass. The management needs all the help they can get will such a high volume of traffic on the mountain. These funds help support necessary upkeep so we can all keep camping and skiing on Mt. Shasta.
Back to the Trinity Chutes. As good as I’ve ever skied them. Here’s one of the ranger’s friends shredding the main chute,
one of the rangers dropping into the riders right portion of the chutes,
a cool perspective while traversing over to link up with another chute,
and a view looking back up at some of the options.
After skiing the smoothest corn I’ve skied since probably the last time I skied on Shasta, we still had several thousand feet of rolling terrain to slide down before skiing into the parking lot.
Shastina’s corn was all-time, but I have to say that Shasta proper will always be the crown jewel. Last weekend was some of the best skiing conditions of the year, according to the climbing rangers report, and my guess is you’ll still be able to lock into similar skiing conditions via the Bunny Flat TH for a few more weeks. Don’t wait too long if you’re hoping to make the trip. It is almost July after all, and sun cups are coming out in full effect down low, but it’s all about the upper mountain terrain anyway and I can’t stress enough how quality it is right now.
With one day left to ski, having skied Shastina and the Trinity Chutes, Jillian and I figured we might as well head to Lassen for the California Volcano Trifecta. We stopped off at the Mt. Shasta City Park to fill up our water supplies from the Headwaters of the Sacramento River, which originates in this spring coming right out of the ground from Mt. Shasta, and started the drive south and east toward Lassen.