My memory may be failing me but the last two weeks have been the foggiest I have experienced in the 12 years I have lived in Mount Shasta. I posted a few days ago on the misty shroud that had fallen on the area. Growing up in Sonoma County, I am no stranger to fog but the marine layer that is common down there does not usually sit so close to the ground and typically burns off before noon. The fog that has afflicted us lately has been thick, hugging the ground, and persistent, generally lingering throughout the day.
Fortunately, the mountains are a good remedy to the low-lying mists and heading up to Castle Lake or Bunny Flat, where the fog lies in the valley far below. Last week I headed up toward Castle Lake. This week I decided to beat the fog by climbing up onto Mount Shasta.
While it was quite dreary in the valley, on Mount Shasta the morning sun shined brightly. Across the sea of fog, Mount Eddy rose regally, also basking in the sunshine.
In some places it was possible to see above and below the fog. Unlike last week, this pall sat higher off the ground, allowing a little light to sneak in a few places. Like Mount Eddy, the high, snowy peaks of the Castle Crags Wilderness glowed in the morning sunlight.
Once again, Black Butte rose dramatically above the mist, parting the fog as is it sailed swiftly pass the dusky pyramid.
Higher up on Mount Shasta, other prominent landmarks were visible. Here the twin summits of the Grey Rocks and Castle Spire make a dramatic sight.
Unlike the Strawberry Valley, the McCloud area did not have a thick fog overhead. Lassen Peak could be seen clearly in the distance.
Mount Shasta itself shimmered like crystal in the light of the rising sun. Morning or evening, this mountain never ceases to amaze me.
Casaval Ridge looked particularly impressive this morning. The exposed crags were fringed with rime ice, giving them a striking highlight. This is one of the most rugged spots on Mount Shasta.
Higher up the ridge, rime ice covered most of the crags. I love it when the mountain gets this stark, white appearance.
Unlike the fog from last week, the blanket burned off by midday today. Hopefully it won’t return. With a lot of snow and rain approaching, the sky will be overcast enough. I can do without a veritable cloud sitting on the deck.
In case I don’t get another post up beforehand, Merry Christmas!