Completed West Face Gully in one day starting 1am, with dkantola from SP. The weather was clear and warm, while snow conditions were really nice (especially further into the night).
I got AMS for the first time near 9.5k, and it got pretty bad as we got higher--but David was a great trip leader: patient and understanding.
No high winds anywhere, just some gentle gusts out on the snow, and somewhat stronger near the summit. Nice glissading (and crowds) on the way down AG. It was a clear warm day, though clouds made their move back in during the early afternoon. The WF is a great route!
See dkantola's entry below for his take.
Met up with SPer pjc30943 for West Face Gully in a day. We had great weather with warm temps and little wind despite some cumulus buildup in the afternoon. There were only a few other people on the route. Snow conditions were excellent, particularly compared to Avalanche Gulch which had dirty snow, massive suncups, some thin snowcover, and rocks littering the surface. We glissaded AG from 12700 ft down to 8500 ft.
Did the climb in a day. Left Bunny Flat just after midnight. Arrived at summit about 9:00am. Heavy wind and reduced visibility due to blowing clouds caused most climbers to hold up near Thumb Rock for at least an hour until things cleared up. Though the clouds did pass, the wind never did let up. Had a tough time staying on my feet. Glissading up higher below the Red Banks was difficult due to hard snow. It was better near Helen Lake though it was too soft down lower. Returned to trailhead at about 1:30pm.
After a failed two day attempt two weeks earlier due to AMS, we returned to try the route in one day. Clouds threatened in the morning, but as it turned out the weather was perfect. At the summit we saw parties coming up all sides of the mountain. It felt so nice to carry a light pack and not feel the altitude at all.
This day was near perfect, good weather, company, route, and a summit bid. Blessed be God!
Camped at Helen Lake. Very tough climb, but so worth it.
Went down to Horse Camp on Tuesday a.m. to meet Ellen & Aaron and take them up to Helen Lake. Was feeling much better about the altitude by this time. The long weekend hoards were gone, and we made friends with the few who were going to climb on Wednesday. Fellow SP'er Dave joined our party, and the four of us, along with two boarders, Jay & Randy, set off alone for the Summit at around 3:30 a.m.. Hit the summit at 8:23 feeling happy and strong.
2004: Fellow SP'er Shannon Skelton met me on the mountain and led the way on the Casaval Ridge Route Monday morning. Conditions were great for this time of year. We made it to, up, and past the catwalk no problem. We were the only ones on this route, and could see swarms heading up Avalanche Gulch. Took AG down to camp at Helen Lake. Met up with newly befriended climbers on the summit, and as we were coming down. Was slowed down by the altitude on the way up, but had a fantastic day & really enjoyed the route.
2004: Did the Avalanche Gulch Route a couple days later with Aaron & Ellen.
2009: Went back and did Hotlum Bolam Ridge with Julia. We were the only ones on the mountain.
Going up the ridge on the rocks makes the route all the more fun...even found a great rock/snow pitch
What to say? What a great mountain - my favorite!
I had wanted to climb this mountain since I first saw it in 1983. Well 21 years later.....
The trip back to CA has been great and the mountain lived up to expectations. The snow was great despite what Aaron says.
Great partners, great weather, great route.
Summit in two days; both great.
This was my first mountain, but my boyfriend was a first-rate teacher and climbing partner!
Managed to get through the classic altitude sickness symptoms that were badgering me and finally bagged my first peak at around 8am in the morning. The winds were pretty harsh on the way up from the red banks, but the sun and the happiness of finishing made for a warm descent down.
A lot of things can make you holler, but standing on top of this big mountain is something that can make you silent. It was an awesome experience in a truly beautiful place.
Thanks B for everything.
After recovering from my 250' fall on the approach to Hidden Valley, my group and I ascended the West Face. Throughout the ascent, we were continually faced with the decision to move upwards due to haphazard periods of low visibility. As we continued up the face, weather seemed to improve and the outlook was turning more promising. Our group summitted within 1/2 hour of each other. On the descent, visibility decreased considerably as we came back across the summit plateau. Following well worn boot path made the trip easy and periodic breaks in the clouds allowed us to get our bearings back to the top of the west face. Softening snow made the descent a little hairy as our crampons continually balled up. Eventually, glissading became our mode of transportation and we were afforded a great glissade of over 2000'. Some of our party had left snowboards around the 12000' level and made quick retreat back to camp. After another night in Hidden Valley we hiked out the following morning.
Had a blast climbing with Sam and Ken. As Sam stated below, we started out in a near whiteout but managed not to get completely lost. Sam - thanks for your excellent route finding skills! Climbed from high camp around 9600 ft and reached the summit in 5hr 45 min. We encountered nasty winds from about top of Misery Hill all the way to the summit. 60 mph is a very good estimation by Sam. Great climb all around but my body hurts all over today!
Climbed with SummitPosters Elwood and esugi in full conditions until about 7:00 am. The clouds then lifted and the wind and spindrift slowed so we had clear sky's the rest of the day. Summit winds around 60 MPH.
Second time this year on Casaval - good time with Kris& his skis, Shannon and my and only Vendula. Great weather (too warm for my taste). I think this is it for Casaval and me (at least for this year).
One day ascend of Casaval, third time this year (and hopefuly last). Climbed with Pavel, his wife Vendula and my friend Shannon. All of us summited. We went on Cat Walk and it was in much better shape than when I did it in January. On the descend we glisaded below Red Banks. I put on my skis a few hundred feet above Helen Lake and with mixed results got down to the trailhead without breaking anything.
Took my girlfriend for her first ascent of a mountain and she was a champ. Summitted around 8 am. Pretty cold in the beginning and windy when we got above red banks but the wind died once we hit the summit platue. Good climb all in all.
First time up Shasta and it was a blast. Virtually no wind all weekend and perfectly clear skies. On summit day you could see headlamps lighting the way from Bunny Flat all the way to the Red Banks, kinda cool.