My (then) wife Evelyn and I skied on our AT gear all the way to the summit in 1975 via Avalanche Gulch. I remember very foggy, miserable conditions for the three day trip.
My son, Ben, and I took Mountaineering training from Shasta Mountian Guides the weekend before the climb. Ben thought it to much to try for the summit, so I went solo. Great weather but windy. Camped a few hundred feet below Helen Lake to avoid the gale force winds. listened to rocks crashing down from the ridges and the howl of the wind throughout the night. Started for the summit the next morning at 4:00AM. The snow conditions very good for most of the ascent. Took my time and soaked in the view. reached the summit at 12:30 PM. The glissade back to camp was a blast!
This mountain is what got me hooked on climbing. It's a very spiritual place.
First time in Shasta Wilderness, we camped at Panther Meadows. After reading and researching, we decided to attempt single day ascend through Avalanche Gulch. We got to Bunny Flat at 1am and started hiking into the darkness. Our pace to Horse Camp was pretty good - we got there in 40 minutes. After a short break and signing in the Horse Camp log, we continued towards Lake Helen. Our headlamps turned out to be not too good, and we lost our trail 30-40 minutes after we left Horse Camp. Somehow we managed to scramble the scree and get back onto the trail right below the Lake Helen. Night was clear and beautiful.. At some point for 10-15 minutes we were witnessing a shooting star almost every minute. Last few hundred feet before Lake Helen were really exhausting. We arrived to Lake Helen at around 4am, a little over 2 hours since we left Horse Camp. After resting and trying to shake off the exhaustion for 1 hour, we decided not to continue and instead watch sunrise and take our time. We promised ourselves to come back and climb it all the way to the top next spring!
Solo 1-day ascent. Only 2 other climbers on route this day. (It was great in the 1980's.)
Green Butte was an enjoyable winter ascent.
Summit was very nice. Arrived at the summit around 1:00 pm. Started around 9:30 am from Helen Lake. The Rangers were turning people back by the Red Banks in the morning because of whiteout conditions.
We were going to just hike up the the Red banks to acclimate then the weather cleared out and we kept going. Sweet victory! No one else on top except for another guy who was training for a 23,000 footer in mexico. Great climb!!!
Great Mountain. My first climb of anything this high and my first 14er. Climbed with my good friend Scott on a beautiful day.
3rd time up Shasta, once via the Hotlum Glacier, twice up Avalanche Gulch. The most recent ascent, with ScottyS, was 14er #14 of the 15 CA 14ers we did this summer. Perfect weather except for a cloud bank enveloping part of the route just above the Red Banks. Clear on top, no wind, no tourists, although we passed 10 or so on the way up. Our ascent from Bunny Flat took a little more than 4.5 hours.
Left Bunny Flat at 2 pm , arrived at Lake Helen at 530 pm, beautiful weather ... the full moon made it great for hiking w/o headlamps in the am ... left camp at 430 am , watched the sunrise at Red Banks , summited at 830 am ,wonderful clear skies , no wind ! My first 14er and did it solo ! Summited again via HB Ridge , awesome route away from crowds !
Climbed w/bearbnz for our 2nd-to-last 14'er on our "Dayhiking the CA 14'ers" summer tour. Left the car at a late 0645 and summited at 1135. No snow to use, but frozen sand up the right-hand gully was the fastest part of the climb. Wind at the summit was 0-5mph, clouds to the ESE. Perfect!
Made the trip from LAX to Sacramento to Shasta summit and back in less than 48 hours. Camped at the lake at the base of the bowl. Set out at 6 and summited at 9. We encountered serious wind above the Red Banks and 3 of the guys experienced mild frostbite on their fingertips. Would recommend glasses and something to cover your face. Was able to use crampons through the bowl and the banks which really sped the climb up. Glissading was very fast and rough wore a hole through rear of pants. Woops! Hope next time the summit will be clear!
We left base camp/ Helen Lake by 5am. The wind was strong, but it was clear at the time. Two of the four in our group made it to the summit. A freak snow storm rolled in as my friend and I were at the top. In fact, the two of us were the only ones from the Avalanche Gulch route that made it. Climbing down in a white-out with sandblasting snow was the scariest thing I have ever done. Looking back, it was quite the adventure.
Started for summit around 5 a.m from "Lake" Helen. On top by 9. Perfect weather. Clear and almost no wind. Fun first experience with ice axe and crampons, although in retrospect I didn't have a clue what I was doing.
This was my second attempt and my first summit. Perfect weather and a great trip
to the top! For pictures and more trip info, go to http://www.geocities.com/sdp_6859/Shasta.html
Unbeleivably, Matt Lawler, Chris Hamilton and I were the only three people on the mountain on this day. This usually crowded mountain was a remote alpine experience. The weather had been crap starting in the afternoon on Saturday and everyone else was off the mountain by Sunday. We decided to stick it out at our camp at 10,500' for another night to see if the weather would break. Break it did, but the remnants of 80 mph gusts were still present as we approached the summit plateau. However, it was calm at the summit. Our route actually was a variation of the Wintun Ridge as we stayed below the ridge on the Clear Creek side until about 11,500' where there was still snow.
Shasta was my first mountain. The one that I made all my mistakes on...not eating enough, sleeping enough, or drinking enough. Due to my climbing partners altitude sickness, we needed to stay an extra day at base camp to acclimatize, but we didn't have enough food to do so. Thanks to another altitude sick climber who gave us his food before heading down the mountain...we made it to the summit the next morning.
Fell in love with glaciers, and gained respect for crevasses. Thanks to my friend and guide, Chris, and Mike, a new friend. Learned the pig rig as well. In fact, I liked it so much I'm moving from RI to CA. Just so the glaciers can be within reach at all times. ; )
Great trip, warm weather, eighty degrees at Lake Helen that afternoon.
May '98: Memorial Day weekend, 800 registered climbers, rediculously busy, but clear skies.
May '99: Memorial Day weekend, another 800 registered climbers. Lake Helen had about 75 tents, was yours one of them? On the descent, a young climber lost his axe while glissading from Red Banks and came to a stop 1000' down. Learn to use your axe!