The year of our Lord 2014 was an exciting year for Hike Mt Shasta. Most of the year was spent working on a pair of books that are set to be published in a couple of months (more on this at the appropriate time). These books were a direct result of the success of the website and opened doors for more writing opportunities. Still, as always, the focus remains on the mountain and the incredible region that surrounds it. It is my hope that everyone had a successful year, profited in their endeavors and was able to get outside and enjoy the natural world. Like last year, I think it is appropriate to look back at all the variety throughout the year:
January: The drought left Mount Shasta without much snow cover for much of the winter. Despite this, the mountain still yielded spectacular sunrises.
January (redux): OK, I know I already posted an image for January but this shot of Lassen Peak from the flanks of Mount Shasta was one of my favorite images from last year. I could not resist including it here, especially since I completely missed a month later in the year.
February: Winter is a great time to explore the lava flows, tubes and high desert terrain on the north side of Mount Shasta. The drier climate leaves a lot of terrain open for adventures.
March: The drought winter meant that a lot of high country destinations were still within reach. The hike into Diller Canyon is a fairly unknown route with spectacular views and easy access from Mount Shasta City.
April: The Shasta River Canyon is a great place for an adventure during the spring when snow still makes the high country harder to reach. The canyon is rugged and surprisingly wild with very little intrusion from the outside world.
May: Spring is my favorite time to enjoy rivers in the mountain. The melting snow swells the volume of water and the powerful torrents are exhilarating. In the Mount Shasta area, the McCloud River, with its famed waterfalls and deep canyon are a fantastic place to appreciate the water’s surging energy.
June: As summer approaches, hidden places on the mountain get easier to reach. This unnamed waterfall lies deep in Mud Creek Canyon and sees very, very few visitors.
July: The mountain finally opens up as the road to the Old Ski Bowl is cleared and access to the higher trailheads is available. Hikers can finally enjoy the mountain’s alpine wonderland in places like Panther Meadow.
August: ?????? I spent most of August in Sonoma and Napa Counties and did not take a single picture of anything in the Mount Shasta region!
September: As summer begins to fade into autumn, the weather changes are often accompanied by spectacular lenticular cloud displays. In 2014 Mount Shasta may have lost all of its snow (except the glaciers, of course) but the clouds did not relent and it was still a spectacular sight.
October: Fall brought evermore elaborate and astounding cloud displays.
November: Mount Shasta was finally restored to its snowy glory.
December: The year ended with an awesome series of storms that left the mountains smothered in snow. The return of water to the Shasta Valley heralded the return of the opportunity to capture reflections of the north side of Mount Shasta.
Lastly, it would not be right to conclude a retrospective of 2014 without mentioning our impressive house guest. We have had a spectacular buck hanging out around our house for the last few months. Even though we will no doubt see his offspring running around in the summer of 2015, it is possible we will never have a fellow staying with us as magnificent as this guy:
I hope everyone has a blessed 2015!