Mt Shasta Climbing Information Blog

Mount Shasta Climbing Information Blog

Conditions Report: May 15 2024: Skiing Shastina, Mt Shasta’s satellite cone.

May 15, 2024: First light at sunrise on our approach towards Hidden Valley and the summit of Shastina. 

On May 15 2024, my guest Wes and I set out to climb and ski Shastina in a single day from Bunny Flat. We left the Bunny Flat trailhead at 4:15am and we were standing on the summit by 10:15am. Shastina is a prominent satellite cone of Mount Shasta and is a special place. It is also a far less frequented side of the mountain. 

Shastina is one of four overlapping volcanic cones which together form Mt Shasta, the most voluminous stratovolcano in the Cascade Range. 
At 12,335 feet, Shastina ranks as the third highest volcano in the Cascades mountains behind Mount Rainier and Mount Shasta. 

Shastina hosts three small crater lakes that are nestled among the cones and ridges of the summit crater. These lakes rarely melt free of snow until late in the summer. Clarence King Lake occupies the inside bottom of the crater rim at an elevation of 11,755 feet. Sisson Lake sits in the col between Shastina and Mt Shasta proper at an elevation of 11,793 feet. And highest of the three lakes, there is actually an unnamed lake located on the south side of the cinder cone which forms Shastina’s true summit, at an approximate elevation of 11,960 feet.  These three lakes on Shastina are the highest lakes in all of the Cascade Range.

May 15, 2024: From the true summit of Shastina, looking north into the crater rim and the frozen over Clarence King Lake. A snow-capped Mount McLoughlin in southern Oregon can be seen on the horizon. 

Screenshot of a 2016 USFS 1:24,000 topographic map showing the three lakes near Shastina’s summit. 

May 15, 2024: Wes and I sitting on the true summit of Shastina at around 10am before skiing the South Face. 

After tagging the true summit and taking a moment to check out the high elevation lakes and views of the Whitney Glacier, we made our way back around the crater rim to the South Face. From the top of the snow ramp that makes up the South Face, we doffed our boot crampons and prepared to ski. At approximately 11am, we dropped into the South Face of Shastina on our skis to find very good corn snow conditions. We skied long pitches of good quality corn snow on wide open slopes with smooth surface conditions. With a handful of intermittent breaks to let the legs rest, we skied good quality snow all the way down Cascade Gulch to Hidden Valley. 

May 15, 2024: Wes dropping into the South Face of Shastina at approximately 11am. 

May 15, 2024: Wes linking large radius turns on the South Face of Shastina, with the West Ridge and West Face of Mount Shasta in the background. 

Picture of posted by Shane Rathbun
posted by Shane Rathbun

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