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Casaval Ridge

Climbing Route(s): Avalanche Gulch, Casaval Ridge, West Face, Cascade Gulch, Green Butte Ridge
Trailhead(s): Bunny Flat
Mt. Shasta
Date/Time of Observation: 
Tuesday, May 17, 2022 - 12:00pm
Climbing Ranger

General Conditions

Casaval Ridge is still in good condition as of May 17, 2022. The approach from Bunny Flat to Horse Camp is almost snow free - please take the summer trail to Horse Camp. The lower section of Casaval is mostly melted out and is a mix of scree, snow patches, and krumholz. Consistent snow does not begin until around 9800 feet. Even with firm snow in the morning, crampons were not necessary until climbing onto the upper portion of the ridge at about 10,200 feet. Once you are on the upper ridge, snow is consistent all the way up the route. Time of day will determine how efficient travel will be. Due to the aspect, the ridge stays shaded until mid-morning. There are quite a few old debris along the route from prior ice and snow fall from hot temperatures later in the day. Right now, there is a boot pack up the entire ridge. The Catwalk is a 100-150 yard section near the top of the ridge that takes you onto an exposed ledge of rock similar to that of the Red Banks. The snow coverage along it is in good condition right now. One must continue onto this part of the route at their own discretion and risk tolerance. The Catwalk is exposed even when it is in good condition. A fall along it would have very high consequences, taking you over cliffs and rocks into Avalanche Gulch. If this section does not look in good condition, one can bail out onto the West Face and continue up that way. Casaval drops you onto the top of the plateau below Misery Ridge and one can choose to continue to the summit or descend whichever way they choose. My descent route down the Trinity Chutes softened to good skiing around 12:45. Avalanche Gulch has gone through a melt-freeze cycle and corn skiing conditions were found between 12:30-2. Below Spring Hill, most of the snow has melted out in the Gulch. Please use the trail whenever possible when hiking up or down from Horse Camp. 


  • Snow coverage on upper Casaval Ridge
  • Nearing the top of the ridge
  • Looking up at the start of the Catwalk
  • The most exposed part of the Catwalk
  • Snow is almost completely melted out below Spring Hill.