Wow! What a wonderful climb. Had great weather, great partners, and much success. Left Helen at 5 am and were perched on the summit at 9:30 am. Snow conditions were perfect! No wind on the summit and temps were quite warm.
Currently, the best chute to use up through the Red Banks is the climber's far left. It's completely snow-covered all the way through. A second group decided to try the climber's far right and got half way through, ran out of snow, and suffered a nerve-racking scramble over the soft rock, which turned 2/3rds of them back.
Quite surprised at the ease of the climb as compared to Tyndall and even the scree approach on Langley. Thanks to Team X-Ray (Marija, Stacie, Mike, and Pavel) for joining us and all the good times and to my climbing partners on Team Infrared (Alan, Matthais, and Brian). You all impressed me and made this one-year wait for this climb well worth it!
Great climb, one of Marija's most inspired ideas!. Made the summit at 11:30 after a 5:15 am start from Helen Lake with Mike, Marija and Pavel. Our first time, and we all made it!!! Narrow steep snow held through Red Banks almost to the resting area below Misery Hill, and we made it through before the sun began softening the snow. The summit was clear and not windy, much less cold than expected. Glissading back down after was the best! We glissaded all the way past 50/50 hill, picking up our heavy packs again at Helen Lake. Not crowded, thanks to the excellent planning for midweek by Brian on our co-team of Brian, Brian, Alan, and Matthias, who made the summit by 10 am.
Reached the summit by 8:30 AM after leaving Helen Lake in the wee hours. First to summit that day, as far as we can tell. Weather was deteriorating fast and I'm glad we left for the summit when we did. Snowpack was pretty thin - ice axe and crampons only necessary on the snowfield between Helen Lake and the Red Banks.
Great route - the best I have done on Shasta so far - very varied (glacier, crevasses, rock (I hate the scree), snow) and you can't beat the fact that you top out exactly on the top and all the AG'ers are left to figure out where you came from. Great company - Vendula, Kris and Rigo.
First snow experience for me. Beautiful peak! Best part was the descent -- learnt the basics of self arrest before starting the awesome glissade down!
A great peak for the beginner to get valuable experience on snow.
Awesome weather, good snow conditions.
Climbed with Pavel, Vendula and Rigo. Fun and challenging climb. We negotiated some pretty big crevasses. It was icy on the upper elevations, so we got on the Wintun-Hotlum ridge rather than the gully to the left of the headwall. We came down on the other side, close to Hotlum-Bolum ridge, crossed some crevasses on the way down and got to the camp about 12 hrs. after we'd left it. We had to break the camp, hike out and drive home the same day, which was quite painful.
Easy climb. Lots of beginners. Full moon start.
See Bob's (rfbolton) summit log report below as it does the job well. We were in the last group to summit on Saturday as the climbing ranger (Matt) felt that the chance of lightning was increasing and turned many unfortunate climbers around who would have otherwise summitted.
Saw one guy with two dogs very close to the summit who had come up the Casaval ridge but when he learned that a climbing ranger was on the summit, he sadly turned back stating he wasn't aware that dogs were not permitted. They were good looking dogs too but ignorance of the law........
My first experience with Crampons. We passed over 25 people on the ascent.
Dean Molen and I hiked in to 50-50 camp and had the place to ourselves while a steady stream of folks headed on up to Helen Lake. For the life of me I can't understand why hauling the heavy pack higher is somehow more desirable. What's wrong with the "least total (reasonable) effort" theory of approaching summits? Especially when less effort means a much more desirable camp experience! Anyway, on Saturday morning we used a leisurely pace, starting at 3:30 and summitting at 11:00. Clouds formed while we were approaching and on the summit, provided cool protection from the sun for the descent. We climbed Mt. Eddy on Sunday and Lassen Peak on Monday before heading home, for an enjoyable four days in Northern California.
Shelby and I left Corvallis early Saturday morning and were in the city of Mt. Shasta by 11:00. Grabbed a few things at the Fifth Season and some grub from the Mtn. Café and headed up to Bunny Flat. We reached Lake Helen by 6:30 PM and were still able to find a nice spot. Crowded but not as bad as I thought it would be. Woke up the next morning at 3:00. Unfortunately, I mild case of altitude sickness, and an poor decision the prior night to dine on reconstituted spicy peanut tai forced Shelby to stay at camp. Shelby wanted me to summit......and so did I, so I headed off at 5:20AM. Summited by 9:15 and back to camp by 11:00 happy to join Shelby again for a quick rest. Climbed up the first chute to the right of the Heart. Once through the Red Banks, I felt the hardest (most tiring) part of the climb was over. Misery Hill didn't live up to its name thankfully. Enjoyed some nice glissades almost all the way back to the Sierra Club hut. Beautiful weather, mountain, and climbing partner, wish you had been there with me. Broke camp by 12:30 and were back in Corvallis in time to get some ice cream and watch the fireworks.
What a beautiful mountain. Went with a party of 4 and camped at Lake Helen on the 20th. Had perfect weather. Left for the summit at 3am and reached it in 5 hours. We were the first group to get the beginning of Summer 2004 view from the top. A wonderful way to celebrate Fathers Day. Looking forward to future trips with my son. Glasade down was sketchy near the Red Banks and awesome further down. A definite must do peak.
A great climb as part of a mountaineering/glacier travel class. For a little extra fun, we crossed the bergshrund on a snow bridge rather than traversing around.
Also: 3 summits via Avalanche gulch and one climb of the West Face Gully (turned around at 13,800 feet due to high wind).
Started out from Helen Lake at around 4:30 am. Good snow/ice conditions, and hardly any wind. Wonderful climb in gorgeous weather, and - as expected - VERY crowded.
I've climbed Shasta 30 times, including at least one solo day-trip in each month of the year. I never get tired of climbing Shasta! On June 29, 2003, I set out from Bunny Flat to see whether I could improve on my previous best time. I wore stiff ice climbing boots and carried ski poles. I didn't use the crampons and ice axe I strapped on my pack. I took a quick break at Helen Lake. At Red Banks, I took another quick break, stuffed some food in my pocket, dropped my pack, and pushed hard the rest of the way to the summit. The wind was probably 40-50 MPH on the Football Field, but I made it in 3:54 from the car. It took 29 minutes from Red Banks.
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.