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ZzyzxRoute Climbed: Avalanche Gulch Date Climbed: June 28, 2003  Sucess!
A warm-up climb before a trip to Rainier next weekend.

We left Bunny Flat at around 2 am. My friend wasn't feeling too well that day and half way up the Gulch he decided to turn around. I summited at around 10 am. Perfect weather, NO WIND. Glissading on the way down was awesome.
Posted Aug 6, 2003 11:12 pm

bernardhohmanRoute Climbed: West Face Date Climbed: July 19, 2003  Sucess!


Finally made the trip to this mountain and it was worth it! I had been wanting to climb Shasta since 1993. Very hard climb for me but it felt great to stand on the summit.
Posted Jul 25, 2003 2:51 pm

big_gRoute Climbed: West Face from Hidden Valley  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 22, 2003


Wonderful snow climb and an awesome glissade. It was a bit wet but 4,000+ feet of glissading is awesome!

Other than that, it was amusing for a Colorado 14er veteran to watch the California rental crowd suffering like this was Everest. :) On the other hand, my respect goes out to those sea level dwellers who summited. Good job!
Posted Jul 25, 2003 3:28 am

SharonRoute Climbed: Avalanche Gulch Date Climbed: August 16, 1995  Sucess!


Partner: Steve Reynolds

Summit bitterly cold with some wind also; feet went numb there; coldest summit I've ever been on. Many fumeroles. Dramatic rime on summit pinnacles.
Posted Jul 23, 2003 8:49 pm

Brian JenkinsRoute Climbed: Avalanche Gulch Date Climbed: July 20, 2003  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 20, 2003

Brian Jenkins

Drove down with my buddy Steve from Seattle early Saturday morning. Started hiking up about 12:30 pm and got to Helen Lake about 5:15pm after taking about an hours worth of rests on the way up. Great weather so far. Set up camp and talked to the ranger who said a thunderstorm was rolling in the following day and suggested an early start. So, we started climbing about 3:30 am and enjoyed the low angle snow slopes below the Heart.

A climber in front of us dropped a crampon and while he was putting that back on, Steve went left and I went right. He headed up the couloir most were going through and I headed to the right edge of the Red Banks and traversed around the back side onto the glacier before rejoining the hike up to the base of Misery Hill. And what a misery it is, loose scree in hot sun by then. Steve looked at me at one point and said "It sure is good I like this $hit." Slow going took us to the icefield before the summit pinnacles. Quick rest below the final rock and we were up taking summit pictures with no storm in sight.

The glissade down made the trip for me. What took us 3-4 hours in the morning only took us 20 minutes and we were back at Lake Helen. 3000 feet on our butts with snow flying out from the bobsled-like tunnels. Super fun. Broke camp and were back at the car by 2:30 pm on Sunday. Burgers at the Hi-Lo Cafe in Weed on the way home!

7/18/15 Avalanche Gulch again as a final training run for a bigger trip coming up. Much less snow that 12 years ago. Hiked up to Helen Lake in about 3.5 hours. Got maybe an hour or so of sleep. Up at 2 am, going by 3 am. Hooked up with 4 other guys from camp for most of the time. Line went right of the Heart and then into one of the chimneys in the Red Banks where it was steeper and icy. Didn't want to fall there. Then it was just fighting altitude to the top from there. No more penitentes in the snowfield above Misery Hill. Quick break at the summit and then back down where it was bogged down back down the chute in the Red Banks. Snow was softer though and you could almost get a decent foot into to. Not much snow to glissade this year. Did a little bit though. About 6.5 hours up from camp and then back down in about 3 to camp. Back to car in another 2.25. Then a long drive back to Portland.
Posted Jul 22, 2003 11:23 am

Dan WinterRoute Climbed: Avalanche Gulch Date Climbed: 6/12/03  Sucess!

Dan Winter

Climbed solo my first time up. I have wanted to climb this mountain for a long time and the drive down from Seattle was well worth it.
Posted Jul 10, 2003 6:49 pm

FelsbergRoute Climbed: Clear Creek Date Climbed: September 1, 2001


Posted Jul 10, 2003 4:55 pm

winzelerRoute Climbed: Avalanche Gulch (left of The Heart) Date Climbed: July 4, 2003  Sucess!


Our party of four camped a few hundred feet below Lake Helen and left around 2:45 am. We stayed to the left hitting a few steeper pitches while avoiding all the other parties, climbing left of The Heart and then right and up through the Red Banks. On to Misery Hill and the Summit at 11:45 am. The standard route was very crowded as was the upper mountain.

Side note: My hydration system leaked in the first 1/2 hour, soaking my extra thermal clothes in my pack and leaving me with a partially filled Nalgene bottle for the entire climb. My advice to climbers is to leave the error prone hydration bladders to the approach hike and only use Nalgene bottles on summit bids.

Posted Jul 7, 2003 10:13 pm

Vertigo soulRoute Climbed: Avalanche Gulch Date Climbed: June 29, 2003  Sucess!

Vertigo soul

A classic climb. Three days of clear and hot weather. Surrounded by tents at Helen Lake (approx. 120+ people). We shot lots of video, although not suitable for all ages. The route was pretty straight forward, with some heavy gusts above Misery Hill. This was our second attempt after a huge storm ended our first attempt last year. The summit was worth the wait.
Posted Jul 7, 2003 3:34 pm

rcorby2Route Climbed: A-Gulch Date Climbed: June 29, 2003  Sucess!


Great weather on a great mountain. Helen Lake was packed so we got up at 2am thinking we would get ahead of the masses. Left camp at 3am and there were already 8 or 9 parties on route.

Route is in good condition. Glissade path through Red Banks is HUGE and ugly.
Posted Jul 7, 2003 10:51 am

MishaRoute Climbed: West Face Gully Date Climbed: July 5th, 2003  Sucess!


Awesome day and beautiful weather! Left the camp in Hidden Valley (~9,200') at 6am, reached the top of the West Face (~13,300') at 11:30am, and summited at 1:30pm. This is a one grueling snow route, much more fun than Avalanche Gulch! We took the variation to the right of the steep direct chute above Hidden Valley, which ended with the ridge traverse over ~50 degree snow field. So much for 'bypassing' steep snow :). Snow during the first half of the day was firm and icy which made it an easier ascent with crampons. In the afternoon it turned into 'mashed potatoes' perfect for sliding down and glissading.

All in all, unbelievable experience!
Posted Jul 7, 2003 1:09 am

Dave KRoute Climbed: Avalanche Gulch Date Climbed: June 22, 2003  Sucess!

Dave K

Second time up. Conditions were good, but the temps were a bit cold and the snow icy, making downclimbing to the heart necessary.

Lotsa’ loose rocks. My friend was nailed in the thigh with a huge rock, but fortunately was able to continue to the summit.

Posted Jul 6, 2003 11:04 pm

agorokhovRoute Climbed: Hotlum-Bolam Ridge Date Climbed: June 15, 2003  Sucess!
Posted Jul 1, 2003 12:49 pm

dkantolaRoute Climbed: Avalanche Gulch Date Climbed: June 22, 2003  Sucess!


I camped at the trailhead Friday night and left for Helen Lake Saturday morning. After starting up from Helen Lake at 3:50 Sunday morning, I reached the summit solo at 9:20.

Snow conditions were perfect through the Red Banks chimneys, though some traversing over loose rock was necessary. Misery Hill was a misery as the altitude took a toll on my speed, but I didn't experience any symptoms of AMS.

Some day-hikers were complaining of headaches and nausea near the summit pinnacle, so those considering a day-hike should take this into account.
Posted Jun 29, 2003 4:31 am

mdostbyRoute Climbed: Hotlum-Bolam Ridge Date Climbed: June 15, 2003  Sucess!


Great climb with Miguel, Raph, Alex and Jim. Awesome weather. My 5th summit.
Posted Jun 24, 2003 7:01 pm

PellucidWombatRoute Climbed: Green Butte Route Date Climbed: January, 2003


We turned around at 11,000 feet after 14 climbers coming down the ridge said that the snow in the mixed climbing was too hard to penetrate easily with an ice axe and a rope was needed, which we lacked. My group then traversed into Avalanche Gulch at the highest flat point in hopes of camping there and summiting via that route to avoid the mixed climbing. Since we were pelted by chunks of rock and ice, and the snow was windswept to bullet proof ice, we decided to descend and try another day. I might have that day on June 29th as I try to climb the peak via the Cleer Creek route with some members of CHAOS (Cal Hiking and Outdoor Society)
Posted Jun 16, 2003 11:50 pm

robowcaRoute Climbed: Main route (AG) Date Climbed: 05/31/03  Sucess!
Me and 2 others hiked into horse camp on Friday and spent the night for a 3:30AM summit attempt. The weather was cold and visibility was good. Reached Helen lake by 7:30am and the red banks by 10ish. One of my climbing partners turned back at the red banks. Winds started to pick-up but we able to summit by noon. The decent was harsh! Very slushy! Made it back to horse camp by 4:30.

Posted Jun 3, 2003 5:48 pm

Mike ZastoupilRoute Climbed: Avalanche Gulch Date Climbed: May 24 2003

Mike Zastoupil

We (10 of us) started out Friday Night and hiked to Horse Flats - soft snow, Saturday morning hiked up to Helen Lake - it was like walking up a giant slurpee. We had two small Avalanches up near Helen. We started out about 4:45 on Sunday morning. We could not see more then 10 to 15 feet. High winds turned the whole group back before Red Banks. Of course the sun came out when we were on the way down. We will return. We did have a good time. I met Shredder on the way up.
Posted May 30, 2003 12:52 pm

DigglerRoute Climbed: Avalanche Gulch Date Climbed: 9 June, 2001


My first Shasta attempt, with Sebastien and Peter Altherr. Left Horse Camp @ 3.00 (probably my earliest "alpine" start (@ least until then)- ouch! Had uneventful march to summit, Sebastien and I arriving @ 11.20. Albeit a tad cold initially, great weather! Glissaded on the way down upon reaching Red Banks to below Lake Helen. We spoke with this beautiful girl (yousers!) briefly before continuing down to camp and collapsing.

11 August, 2001 (via Hotlum Glacier):

Summited for the 2nd time during glacier travel/crevasse rescue seminar, with Reid's group (R.I.P. Reid), of Shasta Mtn. Guides. Leaving camp (on the N side, ~10,000') @ 4.15, we proceeded up the Hotlum Glacier, going to the W of the upper ice fall. At the base of the headwall, we turned R (W), crossing the large bergschrund to gain 'the Step.' We then went up a steep gully to a notch, joining a steep, icy couloir. A dirt & scree hike to summit plateau ensued. Summited @ 11.23. We descended the Hotlum-Bolam ridge. Nice climb & beautiful day.

13 March, 2005:

Finally completed Casaval Ridge, with Matthias Seeger. After attempting this route 3-4 times before this without success, having been turned back for various reasons, this was extremely satisfying. Leaving Horse Camp @ 3.35 after sleeping 3 hrs & waking up to prepare @ 2.30, we topped out on the route ~ 12.20. Schwiezer Matthias skied down into Avalanche Gulch @ 11,500' or so. Reaching the summit ridge following the Catwalk (~13,400'; we could see the glacier), winds that I estimate were in excess of 90 mph posed a considerable problem. Lying flat to the ground & yelling to communicate, 2' from one another (& having limited success as such), we decided to descend. I've not been in a wind storm of that severity in my life. Probably a good thing, as the monitering station @ Grey Butte showed the storm intensifying for the next few hours. Sorta bummed I didn't get my close 1st 14er winter summit (esp. on Shasta), but excited that I completed Casaval- a lot of fun! Goes to show- you may come to play on Shasta when you like, but she writes the rules, & allows you success (or not).

18 March, 2007:

FINALLY got my first 14er winter ascent- on Shasta via Casaval, too- just the way I wanted! Thanks, Kris, for keeping on going & helping me to do the same. Getting 1 hour (max) of sleep at Bunny Flat the night before (thanks all you obnoxious assholes with your "own agenda"), after an initially promising start from Bunny Flat at 2.47, we arrived as virtual zombies on the summit at 13.45 (we were at sea level less than a day before). Regardless, great day to be up there. Forgetting the snowshoes was a BAD idea- the worst postholing experience I've ever had (probably added 1 - 2 hours to our descent).
Posted Apr 28, 2003 7:17 pm

depclimbRoute Climbed: Casaval Ridge Date Climbed: February 12, 1994  Sucess!


The manager of my local climbing shop had guided a group up the prior week and dug a snow cave at 9800, so a shop employee and myself moved into the cave and then went to the top. Casaval is a classic winter route and should not be missed.
Posted Apr 9, 2003 7:42 pm

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