Mount Shasta Avalanche and Climbing Information

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March 23, 2019 @ 5:45 am

The avalanche danger is LOW today for all elevations and aspects. Watch for isolated wind loading over exposed terrain near and above treeline. Cooling temperatures should keep loose wet avalanche problems at bay. Use basic backcountry travel principles to stay safe and always carry rescue gear. Heads up for falling rime ice off the upper mountain during any period of sunny weather.

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Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.

Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.

Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.

March 21, 2019

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Despite a recent spell of beautiful, spring-like weather, full winter conditions still exist on Mount Shasta. Additional winter storms are on the way with snow and wind expected.  Climbing the mountain in late winter is certainly possible, but understand that a winter climb significantly up's the ante. Short days, bitter cold, extreme winds, avalanche danger, poor visibility and potentially icy surfaces are a few of the hazards. The BEST time to climb the mountain is in the spring and early summer and with that said, this season is shaping up to be a good one. With an above normal snowpack for March, climbing conditions are good, depending on the day. Avalanche danger and weather are the biggest risk factors to consider, along with snow surface conditions. Punchy, soft snow causing miserable post-holing is often the case during a winter/early spring climb. Skis, splitboard or snow shoes can help, but not when it gets steeper. We have an average of 170 inches of snow on the ground at treeline. Gully routes have very good coverage now and ridge routes will be in prime condition, as soon as the snowpack settles a bit more and firms up. Rockfall is always possible but at its lowest in the winter. Icefall/rime ice is a more likely concern.  Always refer to the avalanche advisory for current snow, weather and avalanche information. 

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