Av. Gulch route, good conditions, clear weather, not much wind. Hot as hell after 10am, glad we were down by then. Camped above Helen Lake; would not do that again. Too hot to relax with the sun glaring down. Perhaps Shasta makes a better winter climb during El Nino years. Was 104 when we returned to the base.
Completed in a long day from Bunny Flat up Avalanche Gulch. I would have preferred to have split the climb into two days with a night at Lake Helen, but got overruled. Got to dodge some rocks couple times as they were rolling down the mountain. You can hear the train of people yelling "ROCK!" then having to look up to see where the rocks were falling from. The long glissading sections down brought a big smile on my face.
Started at approx. 3am, on top by 11-ish(I'm an older, slower, flatlander!). This was my second summit, third attempt. The West Face is a nice moderate snow climb with great glissading, and Hidden Valley basecamp is absolutely gorgeous! I had a private guide from SMG and had a great trip as always...
There are worse ways to spend a day than hiking Shasta, but this ten hour round trip slog confirmed that I prefer snow climbs and glissades on the big mountain. Labor Day weekend was a bit crowded, but nothing like Memorial Day weekend. The hike through the forest down low is pleasant. The long, steep, loose slog section was not my favorite, but aided by poles, I lucked into somewhat firm forward footing most of the way. The summit plateau and summit are worth the effort to hike up to them.
This was an awesome climb. All five of us made it to the top: Tom I, Mark E, Chuck W, Tom W and myself. On the way down clouds rolled in before we got back to our camp along the ridge.
Camped at about 9,200. Started the next morning at 3A and was standing on top at 10:30A. Weather was ideal. Nice glissading about 75% of the way back to camp. Hot hike from camp back to the TH.
climbed some steep snow going up wintun ridge, fun stuff
Made camp at Helen Lake, left at 3am...weather perfect! Midway up Red Banks when weather hit. Not this time, but we will attempt it again.
With my friend Troy B, great snow, very little wind, and surprisingly hot in the afternoon at Helen Lake. Along with the rest of camp we were up at 2am and off sometime around 3 and summited at 7am, then back to camp at 9am. With such ideal conditions, summit day went by faster than I expected. I would love to get back down here and explore other routes in the future.
Set out at 6:00 a.m. from Sand Flat TH and soon regretted the late start due to no wind and extreme warmth. A cool breeze atop Misery Hill and the summit was relieving. The hordes on AG made for plenty of entertainment and conversation during frequent rest breaks while I slowly climbed up to the top of the Red Banks. Scenic cloud formations made appearances throughout the day, adding to the stunning beauty. I made it back to Sand Flat late afternoon after a spectacular glissade down the West Face to Hidden Valley. Shastina was tempting, but I resisted so I could get back to camping with family. I'll be back for more. Why did it take me so long to get around to hiking Shasta?
Congrats Sean!! With my screwed up scheduled I at least got out but wasn't the same as Shasta! Send me a PM and tell me about your climb.
Three of us safely and successfully climbed ava gulch this past weekend with an overnight at Helen Lake. It was each of our first time on Shasta, and we had a blast! Route/snow conditions were fantastic. We got 2-4 inches of snow from Sat night through Sun morning but nothing too bad. Clouds cleared to a bluebird sky by the time we came above Red Banks.
No crampons needed until Helen Lake. Red Banks eastern chute was manageable; I'd say the northwest side of the summit slope near the fumaroles was the diciest part of the route. Other than that, conditions were prime.
I usually get more info from the failures so out of courtesy I'll post this. Snow is good despite the bad snow year. The spring is running at Horse Camp. No need for snow shoes nor crampons up to Helen Lake. We turned around a bit above Red Banks due to low/no visibility. Came back down to Helen, thought about staying to try again the next day but the wind was ripping pretty good and pizza at Shasta City sounded pretty nice so we called it. Hope this helps.
This was my 2nd time up Shasta....and the most enjoyable because I did it solo. My previous attempt was slowed down by inexperienced friends with good intentions but not really ready for a challenge like this (half of the group didn't make it). On this day I started from Helen Lake at 4am on a beautiful spectacular day without a cloud in the sky. The hike started fairly slow, but I felt great and reached summit at 10:30am. Once on top, I was thrilled to be the only person there. About 30 minutes later I was joined by a group of 3 (young) women I had passed earlier. Much to my delight one of them pulled out a bottle of champagne to celebrate and I was offered a glass. I then prepared for the descent, joined by the 3 divas...and arrived back at the car around 5pm. Shasta is a spectacular majestic mountain with prominence like very few places, my favorite hike in California! I love the glaciers and the challenge, it can require crampons and good fitness but it is well worth the effort!
Avalanche Gulch, camped at Lake Helen. Ranger there recommended we delay starting summit day until 6am, otherwise would've made the summit before sunrise (glad we listened to him). Snow was very light. Waiting to start also allowed great glissade conditions on the descent after we got below the Red Banks.
7.5 hours up from Horse Camp.
Climbed in 2 days with my good buddy, Vimal. Got to ski the whole thing, which was harder than expected after summiting. Get an early start to avoid the heat reflected on route up Avalanche Gulch.
First 14er, basic Avy Gluch route
Great route, we left at 4AM, summited just before 1, a bit slow due to AMS, but glorious. Lots of sand and small talus in the gullies above UFO rock- taking care paid off. Knees took a beating on descent w/out trekking poles- I highly recommend taking them in lieu of ice ax/ crampons, which we took at the behest of the FS, and were utterly unnecessary this late in season.