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Avalanche on Mt Shasta?

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Avalanche on Mt Shasta?

Postby clmbr » Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:51 pm

I've just heard there was an avalanche (quite big) on Mt Shasta on Whitney Glacier near the plateau last Saturday. I wonder if anyone knows anything about it. Thanks.

I was on the summit quite late last Friday and the slopes near Misery Hill looked solid (and icy). We're planning to do Hotlum Glacier over the Labor Day weekend and would like to know if there is any avalanche concern.

BTW, anyone would like to join us?

Thanks again.
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Re: Avalanche on Mt Shasta?

Postby mrchad9 » Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:59 pm

Damn... I would love to join you. I noticed previously on your profile your interest in Shasta. I have the same.

But I already have plans this weekend... but maybe we can do a trip or two sometime/anytime over the next year eh?

So how did you hear about this avalanche?
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Re: Avalanche on Mt Shasta?

Postby clmbr » Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:58 pm

mrchad9 wrote:Damn... I would love to join you. I noticed previously on your profile your interest in Shasta. I have the same.

But I already have plans this weekend... but maybe we can do a trip or two sometime/anytime over the next year eh?

I've climbed Shasta many times, just in the previous year 7 times and this year 8 times. Even though my favorite volcanoes are in WA (but it takes more time and $$ to get there), Shasta is more convenient and still can be exciting enough, especially if soloed. I like here any route (except rock). Speaking of which I 'm hoping to climb that mysterious mountain more than once still in this season, especially where the existing conditions are great and it looks like they will last long.

mrchad9 wrote:So how did you hear about this avalanche?

I've got an email from a beginner Shasta climber who happened to summit the mountain on last Saturday (according to source). "As for the Whitney Glacier, there was avalanche there last Saturday, we saw it from the summit." The more detailed explanation what really happened was: "The avalanche was quite a big area near the summit plateau and the bottom was bigger."

Because an event like this is very important in route assessing I decided to ask SP experts to validate or interpret that info. I would expect rock falls at that time and in such conditions but avalanche (???), unless some block of snow/ice collapsed from top rocks. Perhaps someone took a picture on that or the next day showing it.
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Re: Avalanche on Mt Shasta?

Postby mrchad9 » Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:30 pm

Let's keep in touch then. I may be up for another ascent this year. Have done three this year but been a while since my last one. I have a goal to do all the routes, about halfway done so far.

From the climber's description I would guess the slide was near the bergshrund over by the top of the west face. I don't think you can see much else of the glacier that would be steep enough for anything to happen. If it was over on the left fork of the glacier it wouldn't be visible from the summit. I guess the bergshrund had a hiccup?
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Re: Avalanche on Mt Shasta?

Postby clmbr » Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:51 pm

Yes, I was confused with "near the summit plateau" and thought about the false summit or Misery Hill area. I've check my pics and the most possible place would be the top of Cascade Gulch or the top of its bergshrund. I need to compare it with a newer pic.
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Re: Avalanche on Mt Shasta?

Postby Vitaliy M. » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:19 pm

Why not just call the ranger station? I think the rangers up there would know a lot more than "SP forum experts." Better source too.
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Re: Avalanche on Mt Shasta?

Postby clmbr » Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:10 pm

Vitaliy M. wrote:Why not just call the ranger station? I think the rangers up there would know a lot more than "SP forum experts." Better source too.

That would be great; unfortunately, they don't know everything. They were even surprised what I was asking about.

Anyway, here are the pics from Friday. Maybe someone could upload pics after the avalanche to see the difference.

Top of Whitney Glacier -Bergshrund below Cascade Gulch
Image

Top of Whitney Glacier - Misery Hill
Image
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Re: Avalanche on Mt Shasta?

Postby Vitaliy M. » Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:06 pm

No shit they (rangers) were surprised! Major snow avalanche at this time of the year would be pretty interesting event. Maybe your friend saw a moderately large chunk of ice break off and to a novice Shasta hiker that would be an avalanche.

Here is an ice avalanche I recorded from Liberty Ridge on Rainier this year. It is due to major chunks of ice breaking off from the glacier cap above Willis wall.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JyQbJkB0Es

I would be very surprised if a similar chunk broke off that shrund. If you find out more info that is not in the thread please PM me.
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Re: Avalanche on Mt Shasta?

Postby clmbr » Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:47 am

Vitaliy M. wrote:...Major snow avalanche at this time of the year would be pretty interesting event. Maybe your friend saw a moderately large chunk of ice break off and to a novice Shasta hiker that would be an avalanche.
Agree.

Vitaliy M. wrote:Here is an ice avalanche I recorded from Liberty Ridge on Rainier this year. It is due to major chunks of ice breaking off from the glacier cap above Willis wall.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JyQbJkB0Es
I've seen it as well as the whole trip video and liked them both. I don't think such an avalanche could accrue on Shasta right now; unless, the whole snow would be hilted up so much to become deeply watered and slide down. However, there are currently on Shasta some snow/ice blocks (usually upper part of bergshrunds overhanging) that may still collapse, as you pointed out above.
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Re: Avalanche on Mt Shasta?

Postby clmbr » Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:03 pm

Well I've not talked to the source person again but was on the summit last Sunday and seen no evidence of any recent avalanche, definitely not from the summit. The mountain was so solid that even no single rock fall accrued (at least on my route). People see what they want to see and many say what they want to say.
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Re: Avalanche on Mt Shasta?

Postby Vitaliy M. » Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:19 pm

How many times were you up it this year/how many routes? You and Chad should compete LOL

My count is 4 by 4 different ones this year, you guys have me burned!

Random thought. Would be cool to organize a race from BF to the top next spring. That would give a lot of people some motivation to get in a better climbing shape bring more fun to a climb, and bring together a lot of people that could pick possible climbing partners. I may try to organize something like that. When the time is closer to spring.
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Re: Avalanche on Mt Shasta?

Postby clmbr » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:21 am

Vitaliy M. wrote:How many times were you up it this year/how many routes? You and Chad should compete LOL

This year so far I’ve been 9 times; the last six summated; different routs but not all I wanted. I may still go again in this season. However, I do not compete with anyone in mountaineering.
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Re: Avalanche on Mt Shasta?

Postby mrchad9 » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:39 am

clmbr wrote:However, I do not compete with anyone in mountaineering.

Good. Same here. Like I said before if you want to do another this year and the timing works out let me know. There's likely a route we'd both want.
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Re: Avalanche on Mt Shasta?

Postby Vitaliy M. » Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:41 am

clmbr wrote:
Vitaliy M. wrote:How many times were you up it this year/how many routes? You and Chad should compete LOL

This year so far I’ve been 9 times; the last six summated; different routs but not all I wanted. I may still go again in this season. However, I do not compete with anyone in mountaineering.


It was a joke. I joke a lot usually..I said it because I know Chad likes that mountain a lot too. So do I, but feel like I could do one more time max up there this year. That place has a different kind of energy to it than all other peaks I have been around. (And I do not believe in Lamurians)
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Re: Avalanche on Mt Shasta?

Postby clmbr » Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:42 pm

mrchad9 wrote:Like I said before if you want to do another this year and the timing works out let me know. There's likely a route we'd both want.

When: Perhaps next weekend and/or later.
Route: I’m thinking about 1) upper part of Whitney Glacier (but only care about the last hopefully icy slop of North Fork); 2) Hotlum Glacier (and finishing it up on the left side); 3) Bolum Glacier (its long slope took my attention over the last trip).

Vitaliy M. wrote:That place has a different kind of energy to it than all other peaks I have been around. (And I do not believe in Lamurians)

There is only one mountain in the contiguous US I would climb as often as Shasta if its location was more convenient: MT Rainier. Over the last trip to Shasta I realized that it is easier for me to climb Rainier than Shasta. I think the seriousness of Rainier has something to do with that.


Also if anyone is interested in Mt Whitney around January, I’m planning to go there again. Usually I do standard route hoping for the worst weather, just for practice.
Last edited by clmbr on Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
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