Snowboarders Caught in 1,000-Foot Avalanche on Mount Shasta

Two experienced climbers with snowboards narrowly escaped tragedy on Mount Shasta’s slopes after triggering a wind slab avalanche on Saturday, April 27th. The incident occurred around 12:30 pm while the climbers were ascending left of The Heart in Avalanche Gulch, a popular route for snowboarding enthusiasts.

Caught in the avalanche, the climbers were carried 1,000 vertical feet down the slope. They managed to avoid being buried, though both sustained serious injuries in the ordeal.

One of the climbers, grappling with an internal knee injury, successfully executed a self-rescue. The other climber suffered a broken femur, which required a ground evacuation from an elevation of 12,200 feet down to Bunny Flat at 6,950 feet.

Despite the best efforts of the California Highway Patrol’s air resources, whiteout conditions made aerial assistance impossible. A collaborative effort involving USFS climbing rangers, Siskiyou County SAR team members, and outfitter mountain guides ensued.

The climbers, aided by their rescuers, managed to safely descend the mountain by midnight.

This incident serves as a reminder of the inherent risks associated with climbing on Mount Shasta. Climbers should always consider the importance of preparedness, experience, and the proper equipment. It also highlights the indispensable efforts of search and rescue teams in safeguarding climbers’ lives on one of Northern California’s most iconic peaks.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California

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