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South Side Conditions Update

Climbing Route(s): Avalanche Gulch, Casaval Ridge, West Face
Trailhead(s): Bunny Flat
Region: 
Mt. Shasta
Date/Time of Observation: 
Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - 11:30am
Position: 
Climbing Ranger

General Conditions on May 14, 2019

Conditions: 

With another week of high-pressure many climbers, skiers and riders are flocking to Mount Shasta.  Clear sunny skies and low wind have been the norm for the last week.  Snow surfaces are smooth and firm in the morning. Proper ice axe and crampon technique are paramount if planning on climbing.

Spring thunderstorms have been building in the afternoon hours but little accumulation of rain or snow has been observed.  This week looks to bring a more productive storm starting tomorrow (05.15.2019). Be aware of the hazard of spring thunderstorms. They can build and move quickly. DO NOT climb into a whiteout and pay attention if and where clouds are building. 

Beware of falling rime ice, many large ice chunks have fallen from the Red Banks near 12,000 feet and a few climbers have been struck. Wear a helmet and climb early to avoid rock and ice fall hazards.  Warming temperatures in the afternoon can be the worst time in terms of rock and ice fall. 

Casaval ridge has seen a few successful climbs and reports are indicating that the catwalk is in decent shape. Some of the most challenging climbing has been on the long traverse from 11,000 feet to the start of the catwalk. Reports also indicate sections of nearly vertical climbing. If planning on climbing Casaval make sure to give your self plenty of time as this is a long and technical route.  

 

 

Looking up Avalanche Gulch from Lake Helen ~10,400 feet


Looking towards Misery Hill and the Summit from the top of the West Face - 13,000 feet


Looking down Casaval Ridge from ~ 11,500 Feet


On the long traverse  Casaval Ridge ~ 11,000 feet


The entrance to the Catwalk, Casaval Ridge ~12,000 feet


Middle of the Catwalk looking up towards Avlanche Gulch ~12,200 feet