Trip Report    

Backcountry Ski/Snowboard - Mount Shasta/Hotlum-Wintun Ridge

Mt Shasta is Big. Big Mountain Big Ski Big Drive.

  • Road recommended for high clearance only

This is an excellent line for a ski mountaineer.  Not only do you get to summit a 14er but you can ski right off the top and lap up high quality corn snow that won't stop.  Conditions were superb on July 3 with warm sun no clouds and a very gentle breeze.  Other summiteers were remarking about how still it was.  This north east side of Shasta has higher quality snow than other Cascade volcanoes and the only thing missing is that sticky braking action after the sun has worked on the surface for 6 hours.  The ice disappears quickly by 9 or 10AM but a start of 5AM will let your crampons bite the entire ascent.  All we needed were ice axe and crampons for the ascent as if you get remotely close to some crevasse then you're way off course.  This mountain is big.  The "Hottun" is big and you can get big turns on the descent!  I did this 12 years ago on a snowboard and its still as thrilling and satisfying as I remember.  

No running water was around at our 10k camp.  The road is in great shape until the last 2 miles where it gets rather rough.   A Subaru may have a hard time on the last mile.  How much do you love your car?  The Trailhawk had no trouble but was stopped by snow about .5 mile from trailhead.  It all depends on ground clearance and tires.  There was a Subaru where we parked but clearly the mountains have had their way with it. 

I've included a photo where the ascent line and descent marks are visible and if you look carefully it matches route photos from other sites so enough said about that.  This is arguably the best backcountry ski descent in the Cascades.