Mount Shasta Climber's Log
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|RangerAJ||Route Climbed: Avalange Gulch Date Climbed: June 13th -15th 2003|
|This was my first attempt at climbimg a mountain just to climb it. I've summitted other peaks while hiking/ fishing |
Since I am a novice, I had experienced company along with me. Or was I with them? whatever. Our group of four consisted of one climber who has 6 of the 7 summits under his belt (Acancogua has eluded him 3 times due to weather), a Shasta specifically experienced climber (2 dozen or so successfull tries, nicknamed the "Shastafarian"), an Army 10th mountain climber and me the fisherman/outdoorsman/hiker. I figured I was in good company.
We car-pooled up from Sacramento on friday and geared up at the bunny flat trailhead. We then hiked to Horse camp to bivy for the night since we had started hiking at around 4:30 and wanted the rest before heading to camp#2 at Helen lake. The weather was beautifull and the forcast looked good. Upon our arrival at Horse camp I found that my ice axe had worked its way loose from my pack somewhere between our camp and the trailhead. (yes, rookie move I know) The Shastafarian offered to accompany me on my search, which I accepted since the sun had begun to set. We followed our tracks back to the trailhead where someone had left a note saying that they had found it and left a # to call and an e-mail address. I called and left a message and hung around awhile waiting for a return call that never came before hiking back to Horse camp in the dark. I didn't mind the extra hiking and enjoyed the view of the sunset.
(the climber who found my axe took it home for safe keeping TO NORTH CAROLINA! and returned it via mail..........4 months later. would have been nice if he left a note saying that he dropped it off in town.)
The Shastafarian made a call to a ranger friend in the area who advised us to look for another ranger at Helen lake.
The four of us strode off in the morning under clear skies and made lots of ground sheding layers in the warming sun. I marveled at the size of the peak from the trail and although it didnt look like the lump at Helen lake was far off, it seemed to take longer that I suspected it would. It was while i was looking at the scenery that I noticed the scattered puffs of clouds in the west but didn't pay them much mind. We arrived to set up camp in the early afternoon and found the ranger to pick up my borrowed axe. (sweet! I can continue!!)
While relaxing in camp and enjoying the view those little puffs started to gather and darken up as they approached us. It looked loke we might get some weather but I though it was nothing too bad. ( I was wrong) As we were gatting ready for some sleep the wind started blowing, and then it started snowing, and the there was a flash of lightning, then another. I had never seen lightning with snow before, interesting. The weather steadily worsened during the night reachingapprox. 60mph winds and lightning strikes to both sides of the gulch. I wasn't worried since I was with experienced climbers and they weren't worried. i was concerned however when I went out to use the "privacy cave" and pondered the possibility of my demise by getting zapped (I was wearing my crampons) while in that position. (not my ideal way to go)
We awakened to 4-6 fresh inches of loose dry snow and winds near 40mph. The summit was obscurred with clouds and after some discussion the experts decided that we'll come back another day. (even though there was a steady stream of folks headed up into the clouds)The mountain will still be here. I vowed that I'd return and dissapointedly packed up(returned the borrowed axe) after taking a few pictures.
I have plans to head back this June with the Shastafarian and a new group of friends. Weather permitting we'll get to the top this time.
I just want to note that I had a great time even though I didn't summit. My group made the decision to not try to summit in those conditions and I agreed. It was amazing how quick a few little puffs of clouds turned into a blowing, snowing, storm.
|Posted Feb 13, 2005 2:03 pm|
|Franz77||Route Climbed: Avalanche Gulch by ski mountainering Date Climbed: 20 May 2004|
|What can I say? Superb skiing. Perfect snow from The Heart to our tent (1300m of descent) at the end of the wood. Weather changeable: sun, stormy, snow, windy, sun! Simply fantastic the panorama and the emotions reaching the Pinnacle. With me Marantz and Paglia. We were there in an american skimountaineering tour from Europe to climb by skiing the most important volcanous of the Cascades: 20 fantastic days!!!|
|Posted Feb 9, 2005 11:15 am|
|Gene||Route Climbed: Avalanche Gulch Date Climbed: July 7, 1997|
|First 14-er summit in almost 20 years. Fun. Very sociable crowd at Helen Lake. Went "solo", but there were about 50 on the route that day. Had another climber take my summit pic, but he cut me off at the knees. For all anyone can tell from the pic, I'm standing on a chair in my backyard.|
|Posted Dec 10, 2004 7:51 pm|
|madclimber||Route Climbed: Avalanche Gulch Date Climbed: 8/14/04|
|Took 9 hrs up and 6 hrs down, form LA to summit back in LA in less than 48 hrs!|
|Posted Dec 2, 2004 3:20 am|
|flotzilla||Route Climbed: avalanche gulch Date Climbed: july 2004|
|Outstanding climb. Had a lot of fun.|
|Posted Dec 1, 2004 4:46 pm|
|benjamingray||Route Climbed: Avalanche Gulch Date Climbed: July 4th, 2004|
|Awesome conditions, great views of Lassen, crowded on the summit for the 4th of July! A great time.|
|Posted Nov 10, 2004 4:02 pm|
|climber21||Date Climbed: November 5,6 2004|
|Well, it had to be a fast trip, squeezing between my school and the deadline of when my friend visiting from Iowa, Baker, was leaving. We got to the mountain late one night and slept out on the snow with our mats and bags at Bunny Flat. There was a good snow pack of a few feet already there. The next day we went down to the Fifth Season and rented some snow shoes and an ice axe for Baker (i already had one). Then we headed back up and walked up from Bunny Flat up Green Butte Ridge a bit. Then we went down into Avalanche Gulch and were desirous of going up Casaval, but we were slow moving through the snow (sinking up to my knees occasionally with snow shoes; okay, not all of it was a good snow pack yet). We camped out at about 11,500 feet. At 2 AM i was wanting to start for the summit, but my comrade had some altitude sickness, so we rested longer and got up with the sun and then headed down the beautiful mountain. We were off by 10 AM, got home before 5 PM, and got him to his train to leave by 6:30 PM. No summit this time, but a very enjoyable first time on the mountain with a good friend, and i love the snow. =-)|
|Posted Nov 10, 2004 2:38 am|
|marcpagani.com||Route Climbed: Avalanche Gulch Date Climbed: June, 2002|
|GREAT mountain - not too tough. Careful while glissading down. Just a beautiful route and we had great weather. Marc Pagani, Christina, Rice, Mark Terry, Steve Chamberlin|
|Posted Nov 4, 2004 4:16 pm|
|usarock69||Route Climbed: Avalanche Gulch Date Climbed: August 2003|
|A great day to be on Mt. Shasta! It was warm enough to have the rocks falling, but other than that, everything including the weather was perfect. Mt. Shasta has gorgeous views and we took plenty of pictures. The Red Banks are nice too, but it confused me a little, I thought I was close to the summit ;-) I hope to be back some day to try a different route.|
|Posted Nov 3, 2004 7:05 pm|
|ripper333||Route Climbed: avalanche gulch Date Climbed: sept 2002/ july 2004|
|seem to have a weather omen on this peak. both|
attempts....got turned around at red banks. made the
best of it and had a good time despite the weather.
|Posted Oct 24, 2004 5:12 pm|
|ChuckO||Route Climbed: Hotlum Glacier Date Climbed: July 2004|
|Great climb. Guided trip with ShastaMountainGuides - earned good reviews. Wonderful glacial features up there.|
|Posted Oct 13, 2004 8:16 pm|
|mklassen||Route Climbed: Avalanche Gulch Date Climbed: September 17, 2004|
|First 14k summit. Thanks to Jaucques at Fifth Season for recommending the Red Bluff traverse between the two layers to the backside 'notch' nearest the Thumb (see amendment by ervan on the AG route page). There is a nice windbreak here to prepare for the exposure that follows. The hike down Avy Gulch to Helen Lake was a real pain. Very little scree to glissade down so a tiring talus descent.|
|Posted Sep 19, 2004 2:42 pm|
|stoneman5||Route Climbed: Green Butte Date Climbed: April, 2004|
|Skied about 3000 feet of vertical. Didn't have time to do the whole thing this time. I don't recommend this route, the snow, which was crusty, was all cut up by snomobiles and was fairly hellish.|
|Posted Sep 13, 2004 7:40 pm|
|Chris Cobb||Route Climbed: Avalanche Gulch Date Climbed: August 03, 2004|
|We did the summit in two days. First day we started about 9:30 in prefectly clear skies and reached camp at Helen Lake by 1. Started hailing and snowing on us right after we made camp and ate. Started out next morning about 4 am under perfect skies again. Went right of the heart and up a gully in Red Banks. Reached the summit by 10 after a half hour stop to melt some snow. Got back down in a hurry, picked up camp and we were off the mountain by 3:30|
|Posted Aug 25, 2004 12:42 am|
|Gail J||Route Climbed: West Face Date Climbed: July 6, 1998|
|My first fourteener that needed axe and crampons. Perfect conditions.|
|Posted Aug 15, 2004 12:56 pm|
|olsenn||Route Climbed: Clear Creek Date Climbed: 31 July 2004|
|Nice trail to source of clear creek (~8400') where there was still flowing water available. Long scree slope, but traveling as light as I was, I didn't slide back much at all. I did have to use my hands parts of the way. Only a few small snow fields early on- no need at all for ice axe/crampons. There were some big loose rocks-- chance of shin injury or worse. A very different experience from glacial routes, but under-rated for those like me wanting to get to the top with minimal hazard late in the season. Good route for speed attempts- I managed 3 1/2 hr assent from my car, but if acclimatized and even lighter pack an elite climber should be able to manage sub 3 hr. Descent can be done in 1 1/2 hrs by running much of the way.|
|Posted Aug 2, 2004 9:40 pm|
|blmcclain||Route Climbed: Avalanche Gulch Date Climbed: 23rd July , 2004|
|Wow! What a wonderful climb. Had great weather, great partners, and much success. Left Helen at 5 am and were perched on the summit at 9:30 am. Snow conditions were perfect! No wind on the summit and temps were quite warm.|
Currently, the best chute to use up through the Red Banks is the climber's far left. It's completely snow-covered all the way through. A second group decided to try the climber's far right and got half way through, ran out of snow, and suffered a nerve-racking scramble over the soft rock, which turned 2/3rds of them back.
Quite surprised at the ease of the climb as compared to Tyndall and even the scree approach on Langley. Thanks to Team X-Ray (Marija, Stacie, Mike, and Pavel) for joining us and all the good times and to my climbing partners on Team Infrared (Alan, Matthais, and Brian). You all impressed me and made this one-year wait for this climb well worth it!
|Posted Jul 25, 2004 10:17 pm|
|stacie||Route Climbed: Avalanche Gulch Date Climbed: July 23, 2004|
|Great climb, one of Marija's most inspired ideas!. Made the summit at 11:30 after a 5:15 am start from Helen Lake with Mike, Marija and Pavel. Our first time, and we all made it!!! Narrow steep snow held through Red Banks almost to the resting area below Misery Hill, and we made it through before the sun began softening the snow. The summit was clear and not windy, much less cold than expected. Glissading back down after was the best! We glissaded all the way past 50/50 hill, picking up our heavy packs again at Helen Lake. Not crowded, thanks to the excellent planning for midweek by Brian on our co-team of Brian, Brian, Alan, and Matthias, who made the summit by 10 am.|
|Posted Jul 25, 2004 1:21 am|
|telesis1||Route Climbed: Avalanche Gulch Date Climbed: July 18, 2004|
|Now I never have to go back there again! |
So, mgp5000, were you 'the other guy with the bike helmet', or associated with him?
|Posted Jul 22, 2004 1:28 am|
|mgp5000||Route Climbed: Avalanche Gulch Date Climbed: July 18, 2004|
|Reached the summit by 8:30 AM after leaving Helen Lake in the wee hours. First to summit that day, as far as we can tell. Weather was deteriorating fast and I'm glad we left for the summit when we did. Snowpack was pretty thin - ice axe and crampons only necessary on the snowfield between Helen Lake and the Red Banks.|
|Posted Jul 19, 2004 5:26 pm|