This image of the snowpack atop Mount Shasta comes courtesy my friends over at Shasta Mountain Guides, who do this kind of batshit-crazy stuff pretty much every day. It’s all the more amazing when you consider the following: there are no trout up there.

Shasta Mountain Guides on Mt. Shasta

Somebody tell those poor bastards there are no trout up there...

(It’s OK to pity the troutless, though perhaps not to their tanned, extremely fit faces.)

That’s what a near-normal snowpack looks like (at around 12,000′), and if the perspective is confusing you, then here’s a tip — that’s nearly straight down.

Most of this snow will be gone by mid-August, and a lot of it will end up in the Upper Sacramento River, making it difficult for you drag your sorry, non-mountain-climbing butt across the river.

Clearly, this fitness thing is relative.

As predicted in advance of Saturday’s season opener, temperatures are coming down and the flows are falling (slightly: Upper Sac is under 4,000 cfs; Ah-Di-Nah is under 400 cfs).

Singlebarbed — not content to wait for the rest of us — tried to sink himself deep in the ooze of one of his brownlines. We wish him well though we really wish we’d been there with a video camera.

See you on the river, Tom Chandler.