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South Side Conditions Update
General Conditions on May 14, 2019
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