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Shasta skiing ... it's mostly intermediate and family oriented.

Shasta skiing . . . it's mostly intermediate and family oriented

The snowy, broad shoulders of Mount Shasta seem a natural location for a ski resort. Yet the mountain's first area, opened in 1957, was plagued by winds and an avalanche, and closed in 1978.

Now open for its third season is Mount Shasta Ski Park, a modestly scaled, family-oriented area that's lower down the mountain, so its runs are more protected.

If you're traveling on nearby Interstate 5, the area--just 12 miles off the highway-- is worth a stopover. And Alpenfest winter carnival takes place here and in Mount Shasta town in early February.

Trails and facilities. The ski park offers the most for intermediate skiers--of 19 trails, 5 are rated beginner, 8 intermediate, 6 advanced. The area sits at a base elevation of 5,500 feet, reaching 6,600 feet at its top. Two triple chairs and one poma carry skiers up the mountain, where clear-day views can take in the Trinity Alps to the west, Black Butte and Sacramento River gorge below.

February and March weather can bring anything from a dump of dense powder to spring-like sun. Base facilities include a cafeteria, small store, bar, and a new lodge with ski school and rentals. Lifts are open 9 to 4 daily; tickets cost $19, $12 seniors and ages 8 through 13 (half-day tickets cost $12 and $10). There's night skiing too, from 4 to 10 P.M. Wednesdays through Saturdays ($14 and $10).

Alpenfest . . . February 5, 6, and 7. Events begin Friday at 6 P.M. with a half-hour light parade along Mount Shasta's downtown Main Street; on the mountain, a torch parade (visible from town) begins at 10:30. In town on Saturday, you can watch a triathlon at 8:30 A.M., see snow sculptures, and enjoy a parade with a teddy bear theme at 2. At the ski park, watch a freestyle skiing demonstration at 2:30 and fireworks at 8.

Sunday offers a slalom race at 10 at the ski park; enjoy music and entertainment from noon on along Main Street. For more details about Alpenfest and lodging, call (916) 926-4865.

The town of Mount Shasta is about an hour's drive north of Redding on I-5. To get to the ski park (open through Easter week), take State 89 east 8 miles (toward McCloud) to the ski park turnoff, then go 4 miles north up a paved road.

For a recorded report on snow conditions, call (916) 926-6101.

Photo: With treeless summit just to the north, downhillers at Mount Shasta Ski Park push off on a gentle run called Telemark
COPYRIGHT 1988 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Feb 1, 1988
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