The avalanche gulch route is hosting poor climbing conditions with deteriorating snow and high rock fall potential. If choosing to climb this route, check the weather, and be prepared. Snow is now patchy from Helen to the Summit Plateau if one climbs to the right side of the Heart. Be advised that the summer trail to Helen Lake via Horse Camp is fully melted out. At upper 50/50 flat the trail traverses to the right and ascends moraines to arrive at Helen Lakes right flank. Please use this trail for any summit attempts. There are plenty of existing rock tent platforms as well as snow sites still available at Helen Lake for camping. Don't underestimate the power of wind as you leave your camp to climb. Stake your tent down WELL, and keep gear tidy and tucked away. Animals have been known to tear food sacks apart and make a mess. Rangers often collect abandoned gear and camp trash on the mountain, so please keep a tight camp! Continuous snow no longer exists climbing right of the Heart. Climbing the normal route requires almost all scree scrambling. Be advised that rockfall on and around this route is increasing, especially as the sun warms the route throughout the day. WEAR A HELMET! This simple tool of noggin protection can prevent a lot of bodily injury and potentially save your life. Further, an ICE AXE and CRAMPONS are recommended for travel on snow, and its up to you to know how to use them. Almost all slip/fall accidents happen in the Lake Helen to Redbanks (RB) area. The Redbank are still passable. The left most chute (directly above the right edge of the Heart) will be the best route through RB, though firm and icy conditions are present. The middle and right chute have no snow in them. Take the left chute, or go around through the notch (top if ridge on far right side of RB). Going completely climbers left around RB (left of heart) is the only option for continuous snow but it does get steep (45+ degrees) near the topout at the left side of the RB. The bergschrund at the top of the Konwakition Glacier is open and exposed and travel around the climber's right side of the Redbanks (the thumb route) crossing the top of the glacier is NOT recommended. Misery hill is free of snow and climbers should use the scree trail to ascend. One may descend the same way, but DO NOT glissade through the chutes!!! Glissading is not possible right of Heart due to lack of snow. Pay attention to the weather as you climb. Many climbers become lost or disoriented on the upper mountain in the event of incoming weather. Wandering off the wrong side of the mountain has happened to many and is guaranteed to compromise one's safety and time line! The spring at Horse Camp is running and the composting toilets are open. A caretaker is also on duty. Elsewhere on Mt. Shasta, bring extra fuel to melt water; pack-out bags are mandatory for removing all solid human waste on the mountain.
splattski wrote:I started a new thread because the other ones I found all instantly devolved into arguments about style or experience without answering the OP's question.
And the 'Climbing Advisory' began by talking bout dog poop and misc. beginner advise. Not particularly helpful.
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