Mount Shasta around Memorial Day 2018: a lot less snow!
I knew that some rainy weather was in store for Sunday, but I honestly did not anticipate snow at lower elevations. Nonetheless, it happened. I have not been into town and my house is a few hundred feet higher up, so it may not have stuck there. Up on the pass, however, we got about an inch of snow. Thankfully we opted not to plant our tomatoes yesterday, which we had planned to do!
This snow does not really impact the trails around Mount Shasta much. It will melt off quickly, the weather will warm up tomorrow and the snowpack at higher elevations will continue to thaw. What we may see, though, is an early influx of PCT thruhikers. The ones at the front of the pack are approaching the Domeland Wilderness and will soon be at Kennedy Meadows, the last outpost before heading up into the High Sierra. In an average year, the snow will have melted out in most of the High Sierra, leaving the way north open. However, this year, as in 2017, the Sierra Nevada is still deep in snow and will necessitate thruhikers skipping around and doing the trail in segments.
That means that we here in Mount Shasta may start to see thruhikers popping up in town in a few weeks, a month or more earlier than normal. The snow is deep just about everywhere. The only really viable section of trail to hit right now is from Old Station by Hat Creek up to I-5. From there, some of the Trinity Divide, Siskiyous and the Soda Mountain area may be open or opening soon. Other than that, they are going to have to wait out the melting. Of course, further up in Oregon and Washington, things melt out much later so the season is no further along than it is down here. Not the best conditions to be on the PCT this year!