We just rolled into Mt. Shasta a few minutes ago and drove up from the SF Bay Area today.
Shasta Dam and Lake still have an Amazing amount of water in them as the snows slowly melt. Mt. Shasta is still covered with snow which is unusual for the last 5 years or so but more like the 70s, 80s, and 90s up here this time of year most years. Haven't been up to Castle lake to see if the ice has melted out yet at 6000 feet. Likely will have to wait until we or I head down from Portland later this month. Amazing weather with the hottest at 96 degrees Redding as we passed through. Cirrus Clouds might mean a storm system is heading down from north. Haven't checked yet to see what it means. But, in the winter if you see those wispy ice high altitude clouds that look sort of like angels or angels wings sometimes these usually are on the forefront of a storm if it is winter or spring in Mt. Shasta where weather can move here and through here very fast and leave a lot of snow at one time. So, being prepared then is really important to everyone's survival. But now, it is late spring or early summer depending upon your point of view. My housekeeper says her daughter and her boyfriend are going to Japan soon since they both graduated from High School and they both worked and saved up money for this trip from working all year after school locally to where I live on the coast.
Anyway, I'm glad to have the first days driving over with and to look up at Mt. Shasta glistening in the sunlight an hour or two before sunset where it turns usually gold and pink before the sun leaving completely on a day like today. The snow is still quite spectacular and you can see it completely still covering the mountain from the treeline to the top so mountain climbers (if they are skilled enough) are likely skiing down after they summit if they aren't carrying too much weight in their packs to throw them off balance.
In the 1980s I skied with Mountaineering skis by myself one of these times and was glad to survive it because I got caught in an avalanche which made me realize it is safer to ski below tree line because above tree line if an avalanche comes there isn't much you can do.
Luckily for me, I was in good shape so when an acre of snow gave way the size of a city block I just struggled to stay on top so I wouldn't drown in it with cross country mountaineering skis.
I was lucky when the acre of snow I was in the middle of stopped I had managed only to be up to my chest in the snow by struggling to stay on top as hard as I possibly could. I had had my shirt off because the day was warm at 10,000 feet and I had been going up traversing at an angle.
So, I was really surprised and cold from snow on me above my waist.
But, I decided skiing above tree line on days like that wasn't something I was going to do again.
It's great to have fun skiing but it's better to stay alive!
I was also grateful I hadn't been thrown into a tree because I went down quite a ways right next to the forest there. Because I likely couldn't have avoided a tree at the speed the acre of snow was traveling at the time on top of everything else.
I was very very lucky!
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