The 2016-2017 season will go on the California record books because of the abundant snowfall it has experienced. On the one hand this caused road closures, while on the other it provided ski resorts with a quantity and quality of snow that they can’t remember experiencing in the recent past. Here at Skitude, we had the chance to experience it first hand, and with this article we want to share what we consider to be one of the best surprises and discoveries of the trip, Mount Shasta!
Mount Shasta Ski Park is a ski resort located in Northern California near the town of McCloud. It offers day and night skiing, with the skiable area some 9.7 km south of the Mount Shasta’s summit. At 4,321 m in height, this volcano is the fifth-highest peak in all of California.
The resort has a total of 32 runs, 20% of which are rated as ‘beginner’, 55% as ‘intermediate’, and 25% as ‘advanced’. There are 3 chairlifts in addition to a carpet, with the Coyote Butte chairlift taking you to an elevation of 2,097 m, thus offering a total skiable vertical of 420 m.
More than 160,000 skiers frequent the resort each year, the season typically beginning in November and ending in mid-April.
Curiously enough, the resort was inaugurated in 1985 and, though it is the only one in the area, it is the second ski resort to be built on Mount Shasta. The first resort, called Mount Shasta Ski Bowl, was located closer to the volcano’s peak but was decimated by an avalanche in January 1978. Consequently, it was decided that the current resort would be moved farther down for greater safety.
Our day began at nine in the morning after having driven 4 hours by car from the Lake Tahoe area the day before. The previous day we drove through winding yet easy-to-manage highways in the middle of a stunning forested area, with occasional glimpses of entire families of deer crossing from one side of the road to the other.
Before putting on our boots and skis, we had another task to deal with. The true reason we were there was to introduce the Skitude project to Jason and Jesse, resort Director and Head of Marketing, respectively. Of course, they loved the initiative, and surely Mt. Shasta will soon become a new resort with the full Skitude system implemented.
David Huerva and I, together with Jason, General Manager and the founder’s son.
A unique location for ski mountaineering and backcountry skiing lovers
Once we hit the slopes, we realized that the snow pack was just right, and the location was perfect for freeride lovers. With the quantity and quality of the snow there, we had thousands of options!
Another interesting fact is that the Mount Shasta volcano is a symbol for lovers of ski mountaineering, and is considered one of the top 5 places in the world for enjoying the sport. Surely more than one of you will want to take note, so here’s a National Geographic article with more information 😉
My Ski day recorded with Skitude app
To finish, I’ll share part of my day of skiing with you as recorded with the Skitude App, along with some pictures that will give you a better idea of the place. In all honesty, there weren’t enough hours in the day. The next day we had to head to San Francisco, but we would have loved stay a few days more. The place is really worth it to visit, and the locals very nice and welcoming.
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More info about Mt Shasta: https://www.skipark.com/