Welcome the Mt. Shasta avalanche and climbing information website.
Mount Shasta Avalanche and Climbing Information
July 19, 2018
Our July heat wave has been melting snow fast. Climbing conditions on the south and west sides continue to deteriorate. Rockfall has increased significantly in Avalanche Gulch. All guide services have ceased trips on the south and west side routes. Other routes on the mountain are in decent shape and some of the glacier routes are in good shape. Proper knowledge, skills and ability are most certainly required for these later season routes. Hiking on the lower flanks of the mountain, generally below 10,000 feet, is still fair game for a day hike. The snowline currently lies at about 10,500 feet and a day hike up to Helen Lake or Hidden Valley can be a great way to escape the heat and smoke lingering in the area. There is water at Horse Camp, but elsewhere one must melt snow or perhaps find snow melt water. The gate at Bunny Flat on the Everitt Memorial Highway is open all the way to Panther Meadows, Old Ski Bowl, South Gate Meadows trailheads. All wilderness trailheads are OPEN and stocked with summit passes, wilderness permits and human waste pack out bags. Please obtain these REQUIRED items for your climb of the mountain. For required item details, click here. Please note that recent observations and updates of this page will be less frequent as conditions and use fade. As always, feel free to call us for your specific questions.
More than a dozen incidents have occurred on the mountain this season. The most common accidents include rockfall injuries, lost climbers, and slips and falls in steep terrain. Most accidents can be prevented with proper planning and preparation. Please avoid these common mistakes:
- Do not climb into a whiteout. Always carry a map and compass and/or GPS device and route plan ahead of time.
- Keep your group together. If you split up, have a solid plan and make sure everyone has proper equipment and knows the way.
- Do not glissade with crampons on. If you choose to glissade, take OFF your crampons and make sure the snow is soft.
- Know how to properly self-arrest with your ice axe. A slip and fall on the upper mountain can be fatal.
- Wear a helmet and watch out for rockfall. Climbers get hit every year.
Understand that if something goes wrong, or a member of your climbing party gets injured, you need to be prepared to self-rescue. If you have an emergency on the mountain, call 911. Be prepared to provide your location and nature of injury. If you are able to descend the mountain, even just a little bit, this can be helpful for rescuers. Know that help will come, but not always in the moment you wish.
Check out our recent observations for current photos and specific route information.View Full Report
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