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| | |-+  May 12,2009 Green Butte Ridge, Mt. Shasta
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Author Topic: May 12,2009 Green Butte Ridge, Mt. Shasta  (Read 1521 times)
Zap
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May 12,2009 Green Butte Ridge, Mt. Shasta
« on: 05/12/09, 09:18 PM »

We arrived at Bunny Flats (BF) just as the sun was setting and the views were dramatic.  We were impressed with the size of the snow banks, or maybe we’ve just always been there much later in the season.  We parked for the evening at BF and watched folks packing their gear and then crawling into their tents pitched on the pavement or into the back of their vehicles. The sky was clear and the temperatures started falling quickly.  Around 4am the early morning crowd was out and about and starting their departures.  I used our indoor toilet and crawled back into bed; so nice….   At 6:30am the furnace’s thermostat kicked in at 55 degrees, and I was glad I wasn’t sleeping in the back of my SUV anymore.  This transition eventually happens to most folks as they age.  At 7am, the temperature inside was 65 degrees and it was safe to crawl out of bed.  We removed the window insulation and pulled back the curtains to see a bright sunny day with Shasta out in full splendor.  What a view from the front window!  I noticed some spin drift near the upper ridges and then saw that 2 climbers were already descending.  The masses had departed hours ago.  We started the generator, brewed some fresh coffee and made breakfast.  This is spring skiing, senior style. 

At 9am, we opened the campervan door and started putting on the skins.  Just as we were ready to depart, a young skier stopped by and we exchanged skier friendlies.  He was in the early bird crowd and they had encountered strong winds once they broke out of the trees around 8200’.  They had hunkered down and waited an hour, but the winds never abated so they returned to BF.  Today’s route would be to the Green Butte Ridge.  From BF, we could clearly see a long slab avalanche in Sun Bowl so that area had no appeal.   The approach to Green Butte is a pleasant ascent with few tracks through a mature forest until it flattens near tree line.  Then the terrain opens into a shallow gully and ascends a ramp towards pt. 9365 which is above Sun and Powder Bowls.  The broad slope is commonly called Broadway.  The sun exposed slopes up to 8200’ were corning up nicely.  Shortly after 8200’ the winds finally started affecting the open terrain and within 15 minutes it was obvious that the slopes were no longer softening and just standing was getting difficult.  We hunkered down next to some shrubs and pulled the skins. The first 100vf was skating on a firm, smooth surface.  Then it happened – creamy corn.  O yeah, it was sooooooo nice to skim along the gully making sweeping GS turns.  As we entered the mature forest, we switched to slalom turns and darted among the trees on spring corn.  What took a couple of hours of skinning took 15 minutes to descend back to BF!  The parking lot was a ghost town with only 5 vehicles remaining.  Although it was a short tour, we encountered excellent spring corn as long as we stayed below 8200’. A snowstorm is forecasted for the WA and OR Cascades so we drove up to Bachelor and are sitting in the parking lot with snow flurries falling.  Don’t you just love the area we live in? 

Here are a few photos if you plan a trip south and are curious about the snow pack

Photo 1 – View from Bunny Flats

Photo 2 – Jill skiing in the mature forest below Green Butte

Photo 3 – View from highway 97


* ShastaBunnyFlats.jpg (159.19 KB, 1000x355 - viewed 705 times.)

* ShastaGreenButteRidgeTrees.jpg (156.01 KB, 1000x439 - viewed 691 times.)

* ShastaHwy97View.jpg (170.16 KB, 1000x275 - viewed 706 times.)
« Last Edit: 05/12/09, 09:32 PM by Zap » Logged
Jason_H.
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Re: May 12,2009 Green Butte Ridge, Mt. Shasta
« Reply #1 on: 05/13/09, 08:46 AM »

God damn...I'm driving there right now...seriously (I'm really not kidding).
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GregLange
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Re: May 12,2009 Green Butte Ridge, Mt. Shasta
« Reply #2 on: 05/13/09, 02:02 PM »

Chuck R and I were there on May 2, in a complete whiteout, and snow levels at 5,500 ft. However, Green Butte is a very nice objective in itself, and gives almost 2,500 feet back to the car (REALLY flat, though, on the road). The slopes are quite nice, and the rock relief was very welcome on the way down in the driving snow. We also had the luxury of my relatives owning a house down in Shasta. Nice fotos...
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Marcus
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Re: May 12,2009 Green Butte Ridge, Mt. Shasta
« Reply #3 on: 05/13/09, 03:00 PM »

Beauty Zap... Shasta looks prime right now...
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Zap
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Re: May 12,2009 Green Butte Ridge, Mt. Shasta
« Reply #4 on: 05/13/09, 07:55 PM »

God damn...I'm driving there right now...seriously (I'm really not kidding).

Jason,
Your timing should be perfect.  The upcoming forecast is heating up.  Wink
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