Category Archives: News

Mt. Shasta sets up early

Mt. Shasta on April 12, 2014.

Mt. Shasta on April 11, 2014.


Ski mountaineers often head to Mt. Shasta in June and July for great weather and long ski descents. After this season’s far below average snowfall and early onset of warm weather, there is no better time to head up to Mt. Shasta than right now. We visited Shasta the weekend of April 12 and were not disappointed. It’s easy to see how many consider Mt. Shasta a spiritual epicenter of the planet. With it’s massive vertical relief and limitless ski lines, Mt. Shasta may just be the epicenter of the backcountry ski world as well.

Kyle O'Neal, Robb Gaffney and his 13 year old son Noah bridge the gap between Red Banks and Misery Hill.

Kyle O’Neal, Robb Gaffney and Noah Gaffney bridge the gap between Red Banks and Misery Hill on the upper flanks of Mt. Shasta.


Whitney Glacier as seen from the top of Misery Hill.

Whitney Glacier as seen from the top of Misery Hill.


The summit plateau.

The summit plateau.


Kyle O'Neal slays April corn on Mt. Shasta.

Kyle O’Neal slays April corn on Mt. Shasta.


The West Face of Mt. Shasta as seen from Hidden Valley.

The West Face of Mt. Shasta as seen from Hidden Valley.


The alluring yet mysterious southeast face of Mt. Shasta as seen from McLoud.

The alluring yet mysterious southeast face of Mt. Shasta as seen from McCloud.

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Let the good times roll

Kyle O'Neal slarves the West Shore backcountry on March 31.

Kyle O’Neal slarves the West Shore backcountry on March 31.


Today was the third great ski day in a row. Sunday’s bluebird pow day was followed by an incoming storm on Monday. Tuesday was a mix of more snow with intermittent bursts of sunshine. Higher elevations along the Sierra Crest have received nearly six feet of snow in the last week. It may be April fools but the ski conditions are no joke.

Setting the track on March 31.

Setting the track on March 31.


Skier: Kyle O'Neal

Skier: Kyle O’Neal


Rob McCormick takes a walk.

Rob McCormick takes a walk on the Sierra Crest as Monday’s storm moves in.

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Winter shows up

KT22 on Sunday, March 30.

KT22 on Sunday, March 30.

We should have known that all you need to do to make it snow is schedule a Pain McShlonkey Classic. Winter finally showed up in full force this weekend along with festivities for the 4th annual Shane McConkey tribute.

Rocky Horror Picture Show Legacy Gala.

Rocky Horror Picture Show Legacy Gala.

Broken Arrow

Broken Arrow

Silverado

Silverado

Men's snowlerblade Chinese Downhill Chamption Mat Jackson.

Men’s Snowlerblade Chinese Downhill Champion Mat Jackson.

Palisades.

Palisades.

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It’s Time to Get Ill! The 2014 Pain McShlonkey Classic!

4th Annual Pain McSchlonkey Classic | SHORTER Official Trailer from Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows on Vimeo.

2014 PMS Event Schedule

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Mt. Shasta Conditions Report

If you are wondering what the weather has been doing at Mt. Shasta check out this report courtesy of Shasta Mountain Guides. Looks like prime spring conditions shaping up in Northern California.
Mt. Shasta conditions on March 4, 2014

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Singin’ in the rain

We can’t seem to get a storm to stay snow this year. Heavy snow Friday morning felt like winter but turned to rain by mid day. Squaw and Alpine had great conditions and huge crowds on Saturday. Sunday was heavy, wet and rainy again. The region continued to get much needed precipitation in the form of more rain this week. Higher elevations have been getting some creamy snow.

Alpine Meadows on March 1, 2014.

Alpine Meadows on March 1, 2014.


Susan McCormick drops into Alpine Meadows sidecountry.

Susan McCormick drops into Alpine Meadows sidecountry last Saturday.

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Weekend Warriors

Skiers enjoyed sunny skies and spring conditions at Squaw and Alpine last weekend. Conditions should change as a series of storms is expected for the region beginning today.

The ridges at Alpine had great steep corn skiing last weekend.

The ridges at Alpine had great steep corn skiing last weekend.


Wake, bake, loiter, repeat.  Team Tie Die follows their mantra despite getting the boot from their bbq hangout at the base of Granite.

Wake, bake, loiter, repeat. Team Tie Dye follows their mantra despite getting the boot from their hangout at the base of Granite Chief.

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What is Sportgevity?

Dr. Robb Gaffney speaks about his Sportgevity movement which promotes longevity in the sports we love and the goal of enjoying them for many decades. Check it out here courtesy of Last Chair:
What is Sportgevity?

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Plaster Caster

The Light Towers and Headwall are caked.

The Light Towers and Headwall are caked.


The upper portion of Squaw got plastered with five feet of snow from the weekend’s storm. The upside down snowpack ripped out some large avalanches throughout the Tahoe Basin.

The top half of KT is shellacked.

The top half of KT is shellacked.

Fracture and avalanche debris from the Funnel into Shirley Bowl at Squaw.

Fracture and avalanche debris from the Funnel into Shirley Bowl at Squaw.

Entrance to the Chutes at Mt. Rose.

The Chutes at Mt. Rose.

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Coming up short

The Valley looks better than it did before the storm but we still need much more snow.

The Valley looks better than it did but we still need much more snow.

Last week’s storm had the potential to drop three feet of snow on the crest, starting with a wet layer and drying out toward the finish.   Unfortunately we have to keep imagining what that would have felt like because the final pulse missed us completely and we only received about a foot of snow.  The good news is we received a ton of much needed moisture and the portion that fell as snow is bonding well with the rain crust layer.  Beyond that, conditions are still extremely lean.  The start to this season is now one of the driest in history along with 1977 and 1991. It’s time to ramp up the sacrificial offerings to ensure the next system delivers in a way this one did not.

KT won't be opening while it looks like this.

KT won’t be opening while it looks like this.

 

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