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Shasta Cascade Gulch upper ridge question

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Shasta Cascade Gulch upper ridge question

Postby Snowslogger » Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:40 pm

I'm probably going to do a Shastina/Shasta trip sometime this spring if it ever stops snowing and had a question on the rocky ridge up near the top of the Cascade Gulch route. I understand the bergshrund of the upper Whitney Glacier generally extends to the rocks so people either have to traverse the glacier (requiring glacier gear, partners, etc.) or go along the rocky upper ridge (or traverse around below it to West Face?).

Does anybody have any experience with how difficult this ridge is? I'm guessing somewhere between class 2 to class 4 choss with varying amounts of rime.

Alternatively I could do one day up Shastina, then one day up West Face Gully (probably with skis). I guess the choice may come down to whether I go solo or find partners.
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Re: Shasta Cascade Gulch upper ridge question

Postby Deb » Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:07 am

Snowslogger wrote:I'm probably going to do a Shastina/Shasta trip sometime this spring if it ever stops snowing and had a question on the rocky ridge up near the top of the Cascade Gulch route. I understand the bergshrund of the upper Whitney Glacier generally extends to the rocks so people either have to traverse the glacier (requiring glacier gear, partners, etc.) or go along the rocky upper ridge (or traverse around below it to West Face?).

Does anybody have any experience with how difficult this ridge is? I'm guessing somewhere between class 2 to class 4 choss with varying amounts of rime.

Alternatively I could do one day up Shastina, then one day up West Face Gully (probably with skis). I guess the choice may come down to whether I go solo or find partners.


Hey Slogger - a couple of us are looking at doing a trip up the West Face to ski in early June. Shastina would be cool too if we're camping at Hidden Valley...hate to do the entire approach 2 days in a row. Cascade Gulch is probably not something we want to do carrying skis. Even mid-June last year the rock was completely covered in rime up there.
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Re: Shasta Cascade Gulch upper ridge question

Postby Snowslogger » Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:49 am

It might be fun to meet up if the timing works out. Hidden Valley seems like a great base to hang out, and I hear both Shastina and West Face are great for skiing.
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Re: Shasta Cascade Gulch upper ridge question

Postby bajaandy » Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:15 pm

There is a really nice camp low on Casaval Ridge, above Hidden Valley. It offers a great place to start the West Face route, Casaval Ridge, and even Cascade Gulch (although you have to loose some altitude). I found it nice to be up on the ridge for the views and access to the various routes.
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Re: Shasta Cascade Gulch upper ridge question

Postby OOG » Sat Apr 02, 2011 10:18 pm

I've been looking at doing the same route. I've dug for more info on all four corners of the internet and was surprised that I couldn't find a single modern trip report for Cascade Gulch (since the bergshrund opened up). The only small amount of info on the ridge I could find is in the Mt. Shasta Book, which basically says to head southwest to avoid the steeper sections.

I know this isn't much help, but if nothing else I've bumped this thread up so that someone who knows the answer is more likely to see it.
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Re: Shasta Cascade Gulch upper ridge question

Postby Deb » Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:27 am

OOG wrote:I've been looking at doing the same route. I've dug for more info on all four corners of the internet and was surprised that I couldn't find a single modern trip report for Cascade Gulch (since the bergshrund opened up). The only small amount of info on the ridge I could find is in the Mt. Shasta Book, which basically says to head southwest to avoid the steeper sections.

I know this isn't much help, but if nothing else I've bumped this thread up so that someone who knows the answer is more likely to see it.


Hopefully some of the rangers up there can give you beta that is pertinent to your time-frame. I found that there wasn't much on that route as well. :evil:
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Re: Shasta Cascade Gulch upper ridge question

Postby SMG » Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:45 pm

Super fun route that doesn't see much traffic. I've climbed it several times via 3 different variations.

1. Direct ridge. From the Shasta/Shastina saddle stay on the obvious rock ridge. Exposed with some solid rock and some choss. 4th class +, maybe a couple boulder moves for added value. Very cool climbing.

2. Upper West Face traverse. Steep, loose, chossy. Not too bad, be extremely cautious if climbers below. Can't say I really recommend this option.

3. Whitney Glacier option. I did this last summer after bailing on the ridge due to the climbing challenge with tele boots and skis. It's mellow if you traverse low and cross the 'schrund to the left. Staying above the 'schrund and under the ridge is blue ice and steep, 50-60 degrees. It's a short section and the rock provides good hand holds.

Here's a pic

Image

I hope that helps, good luck!

Snowing right now on the mountain and our snowpack is around 130%. Going to be a great spring on Shasta!
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Re: Shasta Cascade Gulch upper ridge question

Postby SMG » Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:22 pm

Shane Rathbun wrote:
It's mellow if you traverse low and cross the 'schrund to the left. Staying above the 'schrund and under the ridge is blue ice and steep, 50-60 degrees. It's a short section and the rock provides good hand holds.


...but you are crossing at the climber's right in this photo, correct?


Yes, staying climber's right above the schrund and hugging the ridge.
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Re: Shasta Cascade Gulch upper ridge question

Postby Jarpup » Sun May 01, 2011 5:43 pm

Great info, SMG. Been looking for this for a while!
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Re: Shasta Cascade Gulch upper ridge question

Postby mtravinski » Thu May 19, 2011 9:23 pm

Thanks SMG! I too have been looking for precisely this info for quite some time. The Rangers report also indicates that the traverse above the bergschrund, while short (1/4 mile) is very exposed, as SMG's photo confirms. I was thinking a good alternate was the Option 3 mentioned above. Basically head NE from the saddle and acquire the glacier at about 12,100', then follow the usual Whitney Glacier route up to the left of the 'schrund. If you're solo this may not be wise, but I'd rather rope up and take my chances against a crevasse then do a traverse on steep ice right above that massive death trap in SMG's pic. Yikes.
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Re: Shasta Cascade Gulch upper ridge question

Postby Mpritchard » Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:33 pm

We climbed it on June 1, 2013, but opted for the traverse around to the south into the head of West Face Gully. It was tough traversing and one spot we used a rope to get down through the rocks. Great route though, we were glad we opted for it instead of the West Face Gully.
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Re: Shasta Cascade Gulch upper ridge question

Postby clmbr » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:46 pm

I’ve done it a few times as well but recently have not had any desire to do it again. Too many variables based on conditions and the real exciting section is very short. When, for instance, I did the rocky ridge section it was covered with ice which made the climb unpredictable. I just prefer to descend from the saddle (there are nice campsites too but often windy) to the middle of Whitney Glacier and finish it on the left of Misery Hill. However, for me crevasses are not a big deal.
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