Hey guys, I'm looking to climb Shasta next week. My question is about route selection; I've heard that Avalanche Gulch can be too dangerous to climb this late in the season, but might still be viable because of the large amount of snowfall this year. Has anyone been up the route recently? Also as a follow-up, if AG is no longer viable, is there any other route in particular that you would suggest? Thanks.
The snow was unbelievably smooth for this time of year! New snow filled in the runnels and erased all suncups.
Only made it to 11,000 ft. Lots of rock fall around noon turned me around.
Had to capture the AWESOME! sunrise. The snow was a bit crunchy with the new snow in the runnels being manky/clumpy.
Had fun making turns avoiding the mank-filled runnels and enjoying the September corn.
Video coming soon...
I got skunked by trying to hike around the wrong side of the first snowfield.
It was too steep to skin. I ended up scree-scrambling to the left and above the first snowfield. Took forever. Every step was a catastrophe waiting to happen. The whole slope of scree would move, threatening to send me onto the snowfield below, which would have resulted in a slide-for-life.
After that first snow patch, I was able to put my skins on. Skinned to 11,000 ft. Just above the Lower Headwall. The snow was getting soft and steep. It was not possible to skin any farther. Lots of rockfall going on all around me.
I thought about putting my crampons on and jibbing on up. But decided to head back.
Noon is always a good turn-around time anyways. The snow was unbelievably smooth!