You are here

Cascade Gulch, West Face, and Shastina.

Climbing Route(s): Casaval Ridge, West Face, Cascade Gulch
Trailhead(s): Bunny Flat
Mt. Shasta
Date/Time of Observation: 
Wednesday, April 26, 2023 - 12:00pm

General Conditions

On April 26, I left from the Bunny Flat trailhead at 7:30am on climbing skins to climb and ski Shastina. When I left the trailhead, the snow surface was frozen and supportable from a good overnight refreeze.  When I arrived at the steeper slope northwest of Horse Camp at 8am, I donned ski crampons to the gain the bench at the bottom of Giddy Giddy Gulch (lower Casaval Ridge).

From here, I traversed west towards Anaconda (the next gully to the west). I continued to traverse and gain elevation via a series of technical and icey skin tracks fully utilizing my ski crampons until I reached the next flat bench overlooking Casacde Gulch.  From here, I switched to ski mode. I skied into Cascade Gulch, and began skinning again until reaching the bench below the south face of Shastina. Below a promoninet chute, commonly known as the Lightning Bolt Couloir, I donned boot crampons, attached my skis to my backpack and bootpacked to the top of Shastina.

At 11:30am, there was 5-10cm of boot penetration in the snow surface that was softening in the warm sun at 12,000 feet (just below the top of the rim) on the south aspect of Shastina. I believe the timing today for good corn skiing on this south aspect at 12,000 feet would have likely been at 12pm. I did not observe any wet loose avalanche activity at all thourought my day.  I made my way around the crater rim and skied the northeast aspect of Shastina and found 10-15cm of variable cold snow above 11,000 feet. 

After I finished skiing Shastina, I arrived at Cascade Saddle/Sisson Lake at 3:30pm. I began my descent back towards Bunny Flat. While the quality of the snow was well passed the corn window (too warm), a fresh coat of wax on the base my 106mm underfoot skis made for enjoyable turns that I was able to link at high speed all the way to the bottom of Cascade Gulch.  From here, I traversed hard left (east) and easily made the traverse back to Avalanche Gulch and Horse Camp without struggle. 


  • West Face and Cascade Gulch.
  • West Face.
  • Shastina's South Face.
  • 5-10cm of boot penetration in warm snow on the south aspect of Shastina at 12,000 feet.
  • Looking at Mt Shasta from Shastina.
  • Fun skiing in warm snow in Cascade Gulch at 3:30pm on April 26.
  • Panorama of the West Face.