The Old Ski Bowl on Mount Shasta, with a light glaze of fresh, late summer snow.
I have found that writing posts on here has been a bit of a challenge in recent years. When I first started the site, I wrote extensively about the trails, the geography and many hidden things in the area. Over time though, my philosophy has changed significantly and I find that I wrote less and less about hidden places around Mount Shasta and then nearly not at all. The internet is to dangerous and too untrustworthy to entrust those places yet undiscovered. Nonetheless, I love writing about the mountain. With such a diminished palette of grist for my writing, I feel that I have often become a weather reporter, just commenting on the current conditions. It is with this in mind, that I offer up, yet another post of such an ilk, and yet, despite its unoriginal and repetitive nature, I still enjoy sending it out into the digital universe, if for no other reason than to document Mount Shasta’s grandeur, beauty and call to those who seek such things.
Before proceeding to such a written endeavor, I do want to say that I am rededicating myself, so much as possible, to writing some original content about Mount Shasta, the region’s geography and history and a sprinkling of philosophy. I hope that all such will be, in some way, related to hiking and enjoying this incredible area.
With that said, I want to report the conditions from this past Saturday, which was roughly a week after the preponderance of the snow fell on the mountain. The lowest, thinnest strata had already melted off but the higher elevations still had a fair amount left, clinging to rocks and crags and hiding in the shady nooks the are ubiquitous on the mountain. My mother-in-law was visiting and so we took her up to the Old Ski Bowl, which I was amazed to learn, we had never done before. After enjoying a picnic dinner, the kids scrambled up on the rocks while I wondered to a somewhat more isolated spot to photograph the sunset light on the mountain while it still had some snow. I was glad to have the opportunity to do so, for it proved to be another beautiful Mount Shasta sunset.
As the sun set, the light disappeared off of the Old Ski Bowl itself but continued to linger on Sargents Ridge. Shastarama Point and the crags below Thumb Rock (which I tend to call The Fingers). The snow was sparser than it had been the day before but still provided a nice white canvas for the light to dance on.
“The Fingers”, which are just below Thumb Rock (not visible).
The various crags, as well as the numerous rock strata that make up Sargents Ridge, glowed warmly as the light began to fade away. The alpenglow enhanced the already red rock, deepening the color significantly.
Looking away from the mountain, I normally find myself drawn to the view south, where the entwined ridges lining the canyon of the Sacramento River for a pleasing array that lead the eye to distant mountains to the south (namely Shasta Bally, Bully Choop and the high peaks of the Yolla Bolly Mountains). However, this night, the conditions were such that I was more impressed with the view west, where the high crags of the Trinity Alps formed a jagged horizon against the orange sky.
As the final bit of light faded from the sky, the sun had sunk low enough for Mount Eddy to cast faint shadows into the colorful sky. It was a great end to a beautiful sunset. More than that, it was a reminder that even a mundane evening with my family can still lead to exceptional sights.