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South Side Conditions Update

Climbing Route(s): Avalanche Gulch, Casaval Ridge
Trailhead(s): Bunny Flat
Mt. Shasta
Date/Time of Observation: 
Tuesday, June 18, 2019 - 6:30am
Climbing Ranger

General Conditions

It's peak climbing season and Mount Shasta has seen a lot of traffic lately. A well-established boot pack has formed on the Avalanche Gulch Route above lake Helen. Smooth firm snow exists on the upper mountain. Lower elevation snow is melting fast and many tracks, sun cups, and even a few rocks are showing. If you are planning on climbing this weekend proper ice axe and crampon technique is paramount. Be advised, smooth hard snow surfaces exist.  We have had many rescues involving slip and falls this season. Know how to properly self-arrest with your ice axe, wear sturdy mountaineering boots and use crampons. No micro-spikes or tennis shoes!

Climbers have been able to Glissade below the Red Banks during the softer condition in the afternoon. Remember to take OFF your crampons and make sure the snow is soft, remain in control at all times. Once you get up to speed, it can be very hard to stop. Snow surfaces will soften in the afternoon, but daily temps, wind and aspect will all play into that.

Sunset from Lake Helen


Looking down Avalanche Gulch from ~ 11,000 feet 

Looking down Avalanche Gulch near the Red Banks ~12,000 feet. Note: well-established boot pack.

Looking up left most Red Banks shoot. Note: Steep hard snow exists.

Looking up Misery Hill ~13,000 feet