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Black Butte - Shasta NF
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mini location map2021-04-23
9 by photographer avatarmdfabbrini
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Black Butte - Shasta NFNorthern, CA
Northern, CA
Hiking avatar Apr 23 2021
Hiking5.94 Miles 2,044 AEG
Hiking5.94 Miles   3 Hrs   59 Mns   1.59 mph
2,044 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My buddy Vince and I decided to hike Black Butte as a measurement of our fitness today. We are planning an August climb of Mount Shasta via the Clear Creek route, and a colleague of his who will be accompanying us, an experienced Shasta climber, told him that when we can climb Black Butte there times in one day, we should be ready for Mount Shasta.

The weather was great today, sunny, about 70 degrees, and no wind. The first quarter mile was in shade, but once emerging from the trees, we quickly shed our jackets. Most of the snow had melted, but we still had to cross a half dozen patches of snow. Half of the trail is over blocky dacite or rhyolite lava or scree. The angle of repose of the slopes is quite high - in some places easily 50 degrees or more. One slip on the snow could mean a tumble of a 100 feet or more, but we made it ok. Crossing these patches easily added 20 minutes or more to our ascent and decent times.

We saw only one other person, a trail runner and his dog. The view at the top was a tad hazy but still spectacular. The only word of caution is that a couple of gabion walls holding scree back near the top are beginning to fail. If they go, access to the top will be probably be cut off. Apparently the Forest Service is working on a fix.

All in all, Vince and I were pretty happy with our performance today. We plan on returning week after next for another workout, hoping to cut 30 minutes off our time. Most of the snow should be gone by then.
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Black Butte Mount Shasta
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