It has been extremely smokey up here in Mount Shasta for over a week now. Thankfully none of the smoke has been from fires in this area. As best as I have been able to piece togther, it initially came from the conflagration near Canyonville in Oregon and a little spillover from the big complex near Klamath Falls. There was even some smoke drafting north from the Rocky Fire down south in Lake County. However, as the week wore on, the fires in southern Trinity County, located around the village of Hyampom and further south around Ruth Lake, worsened and we ended being smothered in thick smoke for several days. It was discouraging.
Today started off with more of the same, but, amazingly, the winds shifted. Just like that, the smoke blew out, the skies cleared and we had a gorgeous afternoon. It was the first time we had a clear view of the mountain in many, many days. The clouds were out and highlighted the mountain beautifully. It was interesting to see how much snow had melted while the skies were hazy. Fotunately, when the mountain is getting bare, it reveals other wonders. In particular, late summer in drier years the mighty glaciers become even more dramatic. All the snow has been cleared away the the vast sheets and rivers of ice are exposed in all their glory. The bergscherunds, crevasses and icefalls are simply spectacular. The views from the north and east are where you will want to go to really appreciate this amazing spectacle. Nowhere else in California can you see such awesome glaciers.
On my way home from Yreka today I could not resist stopping and getting a shot of the mountain with no hint of haze. The wind was howling and a piece of my tripod mount broke off, so my camera was not as stable as I would like and the image not as crisp. Still, it was great to finally see Mount Shasta again. I missed it tremendously.