And then there were two…
With most of the Alpenglow BC Crew caving in to other commitments earlier this week, the Crew was reduced to one skier, and their intrepid mascot, Scoobie Dew, rallying for adventure.
The task at hand was to finish the Alpenglow 2012 Volcano Tour with a ski ascent/descent on the amazing terrain of Mt Lassen. The last peak on the Tour list (for now) and the furthest south of all the Cascade Volcanoes, Mt Lassen erupts 10,462 ft out of California’s Central Valley just a stone’s throw East from the burgeoning metropolis of Redding. For the Alpenglow Crew, a final spring descent on Mt. Lassen would be the last peak in a wonderful Cascade volcano link up stretching from Washington to Northern California. Spring skiing is good living!
So, after the surprising snowstorm that carpeted Northern California last week, the weather pattern had set up well for harvesting corn early this week. And, boy did we nail it!
Scoobie and I drove up to Lassen early Monday morning, June 11, and arrived at the summit trailhead parking lot about 8am. The bathrooms were closed and still encased in snow, there was only one car in the lot, and all the signs said the summit was closed for trail work.
No matter, we drove over the summit a little ways and got geared up to explore the lower flanks of the peak. And, just between you and me, there is a heck of a lot of terrain between the road and 9000ft (apprx closure). We found some fantastic lines and some awesome playgrounds complete with our very own “surf wave”.
After navigating some super fun terrain, we eventually made it back to the truck for a second lunch about 2pm. How civilized! A sandwich, chips, Pellegrino soda, and chocolate on the tailgate of the truck, and we were ready to “Git After It” some more.
This time we traversed above Terrace Lake to the bottom of Reading Peak (8714ft) and skinned on up to the summit. Being north facing and a little lower, the snow had set up well and the corn there was the best, most consistent, we harvested all day. Good enough, in fact, that we did several laps!
The rocky summit of Reading Peak provided gorgeous views of Shasta and Lassen together. And, looking south, we enjoyed the splash of Lake Almanor, and a pinch of the Sierra Buttes- way off in the distance. The summer sky was totally clear and there was no wind. A perfect day to be out skiing until the evening shadows settled in.
So, Scoobie and I suggest you, “Get out and git you sum while the gittn’ is good!”
For us, it was a beautiful day full of sunshine, stillness, and perfect korn. “Summer Skiing, Some Aren’t,” indeed…
**Please note, as of 14 June 2012, the summit of Mt Lassen is often closed for trail work. This includes over the snow travel. Please consult www.nps.gov/lavo/index.htm for more info and the closure map.