Alternative Winter Activities
By Kendra Kaiserman
By Kendra Kaiserman
Photo courtesy of Chris Carr/Shasta Mountain Guides
“Do you ski or do you snowboard?” is a common question during the winter season. Fortunately, the North State’s snowy landscapes not only offer these options, but a whole lot more.
Shasta Mountain Guides offers an array of snow activities, including seminars and tours for backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering.
Serendipity Day Tours will have you backcountry skiing or boarding on Mount Shasta. These guided tours are suited for all levels, and customers can create their own goals. The fee is $300 for one or two people and $125 per person for groups of three or more.
The Introduction to Backcountry Skiing day tour is a good place to get familiar with the backcountry. The fee is also $300 for one or two people and $125 per person for groups of three or more.
The third venture is Beyond the Boundaries at the Mount Shasta Ski Park. This is for groups of two to eight people and is an introduction for resort riders to experience backcountry skiing and snowboarding. This activity offers a moderate introduction while teaching new skills. The fee is $129 per person.
For those who don’t wish to be on a board or skis at all, Shasta Mountain Guides also offers guided summit climbs on Mt. Shasta (two to four days), glacier climbs and seminars, backpacking trips, day tours and classes. “Our permit covers the Shasta-Trinity National Forest and Mt. Shasta/Castle Crags Wilderness. We work in partnership to offer climbs and trips through the Pacific Northwest and internationally,” says Chris Carr, who has owned Shasta Mountain Guides with his wife, Jenn, since 2003. It has guided mountaineering, rock and ski trips since 1982, and was the first permitted guide service on Mt. Shasta.
The organization’s goal “is to offer and lead the highest quality adventure trips and expeditions on Mt. Shasta. We want our guests to experience the challenge, rugged beauty and thrill of mountain travel with the opportunity to learn new skills,” Carr says.
Prefer to adventure on your own? Snowman’s Hill is a football field-sized slope just across the road from Mount Shasta Ski Park off of Highway 89.
Mount Shasta Ski Park also offers a twist on the traditional idea of sledding: tubing, which is a fun alternative to go down the mountain. Tubing is open seven days a week from 9 am to 4 pm and Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 3 pm to 7 pm, under the lights. Cost is $15 for kids ages 5 to 12 and $20 for ages 13 and older for three hours. Each ticket includes a tube. The hill is 300 feet long with side-by-side lanes (lane length can change due to weather conditions).
For an even cheaper thrill, try ice blocking – buy a block of ice and find a hill to slide down. •