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5th Annual Shasta Ascension Backcountry Race

Date and Times

Saturday, January 20, 2018 - 10:00am




Mount Shasta Ski Park

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The 5th Annual Shasta Ascension Backcountry Race will be held at the Mount Shasta Ski Park. Climb up the mountain then ski back down. Splitboards, Randonee, Telemark welcome. Costumes encouraged!! Great prizes will be given for best costumes, fastest time in each age category and overall. Events to support the Mt Shasta Avalanche Center will be going on all day long, with free backcountry ski demos, hosted by the Fifth Season; free intro to backcountry ski clinic by Shasta Mountain Guides; and the 16th Anniversary Snow Ball with live music and lots of prizes in the evening.



The race follows a traditional randonee (ski mountaineering) format with “... a timed event that follows an established trail through challenging winter alpine terrain while passing through a series of checkpoints.  Racers climb and descend under their own power using backcountry skiing equipment and techniques” (USSMA).


UPDATED: New course variation planned for this year! The course will begin and end at the base area of the Mount Shasta Ski Park.  It will have FOUR checkpoints, where racers will transition from skinning to skiing/boarding or vice versa.  The approximate route will take the racers from the base area to the top of Douglas Butte, then down North Saddle, out the Cat Track to Coyote Gully, and up Grey Butte to the Beyond the Boundaries Cabin.  From the Cabin, the racer will descend Grey Butte, to Coyote Gully, THEN climb up a set Bootpack to the top of Coyote Butte, and then finally descend to the finish line at the base area.  The course will be marked with wands and flags.


The course is over 5 miles long and gains 2,633 vertical feet.


Racers will stay in control at all times.  Be aware that the general public will be on the runs as the racers descend. The course route is dependent on weather and snow conditions.



  • Open 7:00 AM to 9:30 AM the day of the event.  

  • Located in the Upper Lodge at the Mount Shasta Ski Park

  • Entrance fee is $20.  

  • Divisions for men and women:  

    • 18 years and under

    • 19-59 years

    • 60 years and older

    • Splitboards all ages

Mandatory gear:  Racers must carry the following equipment throughout the race.

  • Randonee, telemark, or splitboard

  • Climbing skins

  • Avalanche beacon

  • Avalanche probe

  • Snow shovel

  • Backpack


Recommended gear:

  • Water/food

  • Wind-proof jacket or shell


Race Rules

  • Registration is between 7:00 AM and 9:30 AM

  • Waivers must be signed by all racers at registration

  • Race starts at 10:00 AM

  • Participants should follow the course as close as possible

  • The participants must use climbing skins for ascending, except if there is a designated boot pack section.

  • Passing is allowed in all areas, safety first.

  • Any competitor who is caught up to must immediately yield the trail to the faster participant.

  • All racers are obligated to come to the aid of a person in danger.

  • Check Points (transitions to or from skinning or skiing) will be marked with flags or banners, and will have a course marshal present.

  • At each checkpoint, participants must shout their bib number to the Course Marshal and confirm that Course Marshal replies with your correct number.

  • The Race Director reserves the right to modify the event and race course at any time for safety reasons.

  • In case of withdrawal during the event, the competitor must notify a Race Marshal (via the closest checkpoint) by any means and in the shortest time possible.

  • The Organizers reserve the right to force a competitor to withdraw for health or safety reasons.

  • Awards will be presented approximately 30 minutes after the last competitor crosses the finish line.


Other Activities

The Fifth Season will be sponsoring a backcountry ski demo day at the Mt Shasta Ski Park. Leading companies representing backcountry ski gear are invited to attend. Demo the very best in ski mountaineering/randonee gear available on the market today for no charge(valid driver’s license and credit card required).

Free Introduction to Backcountry Skiing Clinic, offered  by Shasta Mountain Guides. The clinic begins at 11:00 am at the Mt Shasta Ski Park. Pre register at Be sure to register early, as limited spaces are available.

Annual Snow Ball

Following the daytime activities will be the 16th Annual Snow Ball at the Mount Shasta City Park featuring live music.  Doors open at 5:30  pm  In addition to awesome live music, there will be a silent auction, and a great gear raffle. Appetizers will be provided with local beer and wine available for purchase.  Tickets are $25, and will be sold at The Fifth Season, Shasta Base Camp, and at the door. Get your tickets early as this event usually sells out!