Location: Mt. Shasta, CA
Resorts: 16 out of 50
After a few much needed days off in the Bay Area, we switched out the Mystery Machine for our new ride — a 25 foot Fourwinds Chateau dubbed the Love Boat. It’s outfitted with a Sleep Numbers queen bed, wide screen television, and a bunch of gremlins that are constantly trying to destroy the RV. Either that or there’s lots of busted stuff in the Love Boat.
Speaking of mythical creatures, check this out: Apparently there’s a group of space aliens called the Lemurians that live inside Mt. Shasta in gold plated apartments. If you dig into the history, be prepared for cults, the lost city of Atlantis, and Ron L. Hubbard science-fiction.
We spent the day driving north to Shasta. There’s not much to do in the actual town, most of the businesses are closed by six on a Monday night. So we made a huge pasta dinner in the Safeway parking lot, then drove up late night to the mountain.
Mt. Shasta Ski Park is only eight miles off Interstate 5 and even with snow falling, we didn’t have to chain up which is always a score. We pulled into the parking lot and settled in for the evening. Even better, no one cared that we spent the night there.
Driving into a ski area at night without seeing the surrounding countryside can be a welcome shock to the system. We saw nothing on our drive up except for eight foot snowbanks, so seeing Mt. Shasta first thing was impressive. It was Tuesday which meant a Shell twofer day (see this article for all the rules and restrictions). This cut the already cheap $29 midweek ticket to just $14.50 each. Score!
These smaller resorts scattered around the US are the soul of skiing. It’s where families can still teach their children how to ski and ride without breaking the bank. Today was no different as classes lined up at the lift to Marmot Ridge. This mellow peak is where you can find long greens scattered with a few blues.
More challenging terrain can be found on Coyote Butte on the backside. We found a few cliffs around Diamond Back. Most of the steep groomers and the magnificent views of the surrounding valley are over on Douglas Butte at the front of the mountain.
We didn’t venture too far into the backcountry. It’s just not a good idea when you’re unfamiliar with an area. A few locals pointed us into the trees off of Eagles Flight which led us to a few small powder fields.
If you do make it to Shasta, we hope you get to see this old school cat doing ski ballet. Hells yes!
The Cheat Sheet:
104 Siskiyou Avenue
Mt. Shasta, CA 96067