Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mount Shasta guide writes guide to Mount Shasta


Chico State University graduate Robin Kohn now lives in the city of Mount Shasta. She's worked for the California State Park System, is a certified wilderness guide, and knows what to do to avoid avalanches. She conducts guided tours on and around the 14,162-foot mountain, "the second tallest volcanic mountain in the Cascade Range." She's an advocate of "Leave No Trace Principles": "Take only pictures, steal only time, leave only footprints."

And she knows how to have fun. Lots of it. Her "Mount Shasta Guide to Fun" ($15.95 spiral bound, self-published, available at Lyon Books in Chico and online at embodies not only wise advice but sheer enjoyment--especially of sheer cliffs.

The guide encompasses "hiking, backpacking, bicycling, cross-country and back country skiing, rock climbing, driving tours and scenic waterfall walks" and includes many black and white photographs and almost two dozens helpful maps. After the introduction and a chapter on Mount Shasta itself, the book moves out to McCloud, the Dunsmuir and Castella areas, Weed, the Lower Klamath Basin, Yreka, and Scott Valley.

For those who want a scenic drive, Kohn recommends a loop around the mountain which is about "80 miles in circumference. You will see the ancient volcanic flows of Mt. Shasta, pass the historic Emigrant Trail now know as Military Pass Road, and observe geological and glacial wonders."

For those on two wheels, Kohn describes a 20-mile round trip bicycle tour of the McCloud area. "Beginning at the McCloud Ranger Station right off highway 89 . . . head south to Squaw Valley Road. . . . Along the way you will see the McCloud Golf Course, a 9-hole course which is the oldest in Northern California. One and a half miles on your right is the former site of the Warmcastle Resort and soda springs, now known as Beaver Ponds." The springs were thought to cure most any ailment (except rotten puns--see next paragraph).

The "Guide to Fun" is less formal than commercial travel books, yet each paragraph packs plenty of information, such as contact numbers. Kohn is writing about what she loves and is careful to offer suitable cautions (especially to those who travel in avalanche areas). There's something here for everyone. And that's no snow job.

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