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Summer Stashes: Volcanic Lassen Peak holds steady through June

By now most skiers have accepted summer’s arrival in all its warmth and glory. But while some may be hanging up their gear for the season, high in the mountains remain a few dedicated souls who are still chasing turns. This summer, we will talk with a few of these diehards about their favorite “summer stashes” that take them to the hills while they wait for the next snowfall.

All summer long, we will add to the growing list of places where you can find snowy terrain to beat the heat. This week, we travel to California, where on Lassen Peak, founder of the Tahoe Backcountry Alliance Rich Meyer and his friend Dean Amundsen make some turns before it all melts away.

Rich Meyer works his way around Lassen Peak in search of summer corn. [Photo]

Rich Meyer works his way around Lassen Peak in search of summer corn. [Photo] Dean Amundsen

Location: Lassen Peak, California
Team: Rich Meyer and Dean Amundsen
Summit Elevation: 10,407 feet
Prime Time: Whenever there is snow on the ground
Descent Date: June 13, 2016

“This is the time of year where you have to get it while you can because it may not last,” says Tahoe local, Rich Meyer. “Lassen Peak is not the tallest thing in California, but geographically, it’s in a good spot because it gets a lot of weather i.e. snow, a lot of snow, coming from the Pacific Ocean. Lassen is an interesting spot, because it gets a lot of snow that lasts typically through the spring and summer.”

Meyer a rock fin on Lassen Peak.

Meyer a rock fin on Lassen Peak. [Photo] Dean Amundsen

Meyer and Amundsen made their way up Lassen Peak on June 13 and proceeded to milk as many aspects as they could before heading back home to relieve their wives of kid duty.

“We got the hall pass and school was out, so we did a mid-week turbo mission,” says Meyer. “It [Lassen Peak] is convenient, and one of the reasons why it doesn’t get a ton of traffic is because in California, you are competing with Yosemite, you’re competing with Tahoe, you’re competing with Shasta, so it gets overlooked quite a bit.”

The snowbancks still loom above on the approach to Lassen Peak. [Photo] Courtesy Rich Meyer

The snowbanks still loom above on the approach to Lassen Peak. [Photo] Courtesy Rich Meyer

As for the conditions, Meyer enjoys skiing on Lassen Peak because line choice is an easy task.

Meyer makes turns in the summer corn.

Meyer makes turns in the summer corn. [Photo] Dean Amundsen

“It is a volcano, so it has a lot of classic 30-35 degree slopes. And like most volcanoes, it is cool because depending on the time of the day and how hot it is, you can pick the aspect that is most appropriate. If it is scorching hot and it hasn’t been freezing, you want to hit those north-facing slopes. If it is still pretty chilly and firm, you hot those south-facing slopes. Or if you are on your game, you time it so that you can hit as many aspects as possible, and work the sun for a full day of fun.”

Do you have a “Summer Stashes” adventure worth sharing? Submit your story, photos and video to intern2@backcountrymagazine.com.

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