A sunrise-lit lenticular seems to be grabbing for Shastarama Point.
Friday was another interesting day around Mount Shasta. Like the day before, the forecast called for partly cloudy skies, which meant that there was a chance something interesting might show up around the mountain. While the day before had been a bit of a disappointment since the promising morning gave way to an essentially cloudless day, Friday promised to offer something completely different. Indeed, the interesting weather persisted through the day and into the night. While the eventful conditions made for a frustrating day at the ski park (too windy for some of the chairlifts), it made for a pleasant day looking through the lens of my camera.
Click to enlarge:
While I considered heading over to McCloud for the sunrise, I knew I didn’t have time so instead I climbed up to the west. Though the mountain did not have any direct light on it, the lenticular was lit up nicely.
When the sun finally broke the horizon, the shape of the lenticular changed dramatically. It flattened out and lost the tendrils that had been its most distinctive feature. It was a beautiful morning nonetheless!
By noon the clouds around Mount Shasta got a lot more turbulent. The lenticular was still present but it had been reduced in size significantly. It remained the rest of the day but the other clouds around the mountain grew until Mount Shasta was completely obscured from the west.
At sunset, I had to head around to the south side in order to see the mountain. The lenticular was still hovering over the summit, though it had an odd, oblique position. The color on the mountain was crisp and pink and highlighted the west-facing crags beautifully.
Just as the alpenglow was fading, the clouds obscuring the summit cleared, revealing a final look at the top of Mount Shasta while still bathed in the warm light. A magnificent sunset indeed.
As I headed home, the moon popped up just above Mount Shasta’s Jack Flat. There was only a small gap between the ridge and a layer of cloud and the moon shone brightly through it. I was able to pull over and capture the scene before the moon climbed into the clouds. All in all, a satisfying evening!
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Great images. The mountain is looking a little light on snow for February. What is your experienced estimate of the snowfall/snowpack this 2020 – 2021 winter?
The mountain is really deceptive right now. I know it does not look great but we are actually doing OK on snowpack. When the big storm rolled through in January it dumped a ton of snow but it was really dry and the wind just blew it away leaving bare ridges and weird drifts. In truth, according to federal snowpack survey (I assume it was using data from CCSS) the snowpack is at 75%, which is pretty good considering we still have March + to go and more precip on the horizon. Other areas aren’t doing quite so well but the Upper Sac watershed looks decent. Check out the map below. Sorry it’s a big link:
It’s good to hear that you’re expecting more precipitation in the far North, because the outlook in the southern Sierra is looking grim. Here’s to a ‘normal’ winter closing out the rest of the season.