Gene touring a ridge, with Brokeoff Mountain in the background
Who hasn’t said “How have I lived where I do for so long, and not been here?!?!” This was my thought when my wife Vivian and I traveled four hours south to Lassen Volcanic National Park recently to camp and ski with our friend Gene Richardson. Camping is allowed in the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center parking lot if you are “self-contained” (no tents) for $10 per night ($5 for us old folks with a senior pass). The visitor center entryway and bathrooms (toilets, sinks with cold running water) are left open 24/7. The setting of the visitor center is stunning, as you can see:
Like “our own” Crater Lake, I suspect the scenery is less spectacular in the summer, with lots of gray volcanic gravel. But at this time of year, Lassen did not disappoint visually!
We skied three days (Gene got an extra half day before we arrived), finding the terrain to be at times maddeningly convoluted. But it did make for some very fun ridgeline tours and exploring. We were hoping for velvety corn snow on our descents, and did find some, but we also skied our fair share of sticky mush! And at times we skied near an assortment of hot water features, including one boiling pool (yikes!). Below are a few photographs from our first day’s tour.
As we began our third day of touring I noticed some interesting patterns of snow runnels on a sparsely treed slope across the small valley we were in. I returned alone on our last morning to photograph, making a number of images. This is the one that I believe best illustrates the interesting shadows and patterns:
Our visit to Lassen park was enjoyable enough that I think we may return on an annual basis!