Probably one of the best trips I have ever been on. So many good stories.
Two day trip started somewhat early on Saturday morning, camped at Helen Lake. After waiting for clouds to clear, started at 0500 Sunday. Summited about 1030. Returned to camp and had to rest the eyes because a lack of proper mountineering glasses. Total inversion layer all the way up, I couldn't take a bad picture. 2nd ascent! but I couldn't see more than 20 feet the first time.
Via Hotlum-Bolam Ridge.
Finally got around to climbing Shasta after living in NoCal for 14 years. Spent a night at Helen Lake acclimitizing so summit day wasn't bad at all. Climbed through leftmost couloir in the Red Banks.
I got dropped off at Northgate trailhead by my wife and started out by myself at 1130 PM the night of Saturday, July 24,2010. Nearly full moon, no headlamp needed [ had one, didn't use it ]. I proceeded to, then up the Hotlum-Bolam Ridge. At the top of the talus, I headed right, and ascended snow and a little ice when I could, talus and rock when I could not. I summitted at 1245 PM on July 25. I then descended the deep groove in the snow toward Helen Lake, stopped for a while to dry my socks, and then descended to the Bunny Flat trailhead, where I was met by my wife at 645 PM on Sunday, July 25, 2010.
3 liters of Gatorade, 2 1/2 Clif Bars, and about 18 hours after leaving Northgate.
Get to the top by camping at Helen Lake for one night.
Been to the top twice now, opened the door to much more mountain madness for me!
Climbed Shasta at the end of a three week hiking extravaganza. Despite being less than 100% after so much time on the trails and mountains, climbed the Hotlum-Wintun ridge in about 9 hours car to car. Started late but actually made coming down easier without having to worry about slipping on ice. Make sure you know where to find the trail coming back down.
From Horse Camp 7+ hours to summit. Hot temps but totally clear weather. Fun climb up and snow conditions great for sliding down (only safe way to get down the chimney). Chimney was steep, narrow, and icy in the morning shade and Misery Hill was miserable scree but beautiful mountain in general!
Great weather on our second attempt
Third summit, this time on the Hotlum Wintun Ridge, at 9:10am. Left camp at 8900 feet at 2:45am. I highly recommend this route, a lot of fun. On a hot day, you need to get up there early, as the snow remained fairly unconsolidated and deep up high this late in the season and postholing was a serious issue for me. Almost didn't make it.
Able to summit despite aggravating altitude sickness that got worse from 12000 onwards. Snow the whole way from Bunny Flat. Ideal conditions!
24 hr trip with a little shuteye at Lake Helen before starting at 3:30am. Cool mountain, cool route.
Check out this video documentary about climbing Mt. Shasta: Summiting the Volcano
It is 20 minutes long and gives a good sense of what it is like to climb up Avalanche Gulch. Check out the last three minutes, that is the coolest part.
26 Jun 2010 - Hotlum-Bolam Ridge
Climbed and skied the route with Jason in a day. Left the lot at midnight, took a break at dawn to let the snow soften some, but it didn't until noon. Headed to the summit finally, but found poor conditions on western aspects, so tried to ski down the Hotlum from the summit. Poor snow convinced us to traverse back to our ascent route, where we enjoyed an awesome descent!
19 Jun 2011 - Hotlum-Bolam Ridge/Bolam Glacier
Two day trip with Jeannie and a big group of Bay Area folks, camping somewhere below 10,000'. Did a couple of fun laps on the slopes above camp. Next day climbed to the summit plateau where the winds were sustained at 60+ mph. Turned around there, although several other people in the group summited on hands and knees. Skied the Bolam Glacier - chalky at first, then icy, then smooth corn down to camp.
21 Jun 2011 - Avalanch Gulch/Trinity Chutes
Climbed from Bunny Flat to the summit in 5hr 45min, waited for the snow to soften up a little more, then headed down to the top of the Trinity Chutes. Skied the central chute in perfect conditions - 45 deg at top, then about 40 down to Avalanche Gulch where endless perfect corn turns were made. Back to the car in a little over 7 hrs. One of the best ski descents I've done!
We had a successful summit via the Avalanche Gulch route with SWS Mountain Guides, after a delay at Helen Lake base camp due to 50-75 mph winds the day before. We had 2 adults and 4 teenagers from Venture Crew 491 summit along with guides JB and Casey, and photogrpaher for Boys' Life, Beth Wald. There were 7 people helicoptered off the mountain the weekend before, and 3 the week after so we had timing, training (ours and the guides), and some luck on our side.
Managed to bring a bottle of red wine up to Helen Lake. While this was a tasty treat with dinner on a clear evening in the gulch it further reduced my hydration level to the point of waking up with one of the most wicked hangovers I've ever had. Starting early on the 20th the air temp was still below freezing when we set out, thus my drinking tube was completely frozen till we crested the Red Banks and entered the sun exposed portion of our summit day.
From now on, I'll plan to celebrate a climb post descent.
Used up four days for this very leisurely trip. Had enough time to explore the region a little as well as make it to the summit. Great conditions; wonderful view.
I made an ass out of myself. Summited but descended shamefully. Good memories on the summit. Not so much at Bunny Flat...