Heckuva climb. Trip report here.
This was an excellent trip late in the season. Due to the low snow pack this year, the Mount Shasta Climbing Route Advisory was already telling people to come back next year, however, the climbing was still very nice. On Saturday afternoon I headed up to Lake Helen and slept in my 20°F bag and bivy (way too warm for the bivy). The next morning Carl, Van, and I started heading up to the Red Banks via the standard Climber's Right of Heart variation with the route going directly up into one of the chimneys. We reached the summit around 12:30pm where we were met by two rangers who were doing their best to scare everyone off the summit. As it turned out, there were lightning storms in local towns and the static was disrupting their cell phone reception. On the way down we avoided the chimneys by heading over to the Thumb Rock saddle, slipping through "the notch," and then slide-stepping down the eternal scree field. I even glissaded a bit at the bottom though the snow is now fairly dirty and not as fun. Although the low pressure system off the coast of Oregon had pushed the jetstream over Shasta for the weekend, we were lucky in that it only snowed for a bit during the morning and the rain stayed to the northeast of the mountain, leaving our route down clear and sunny. Overall this is a mountain with lots of character and amazing views.
This was the fifteenth and final summit of my CA 14er speed climbing tour! Check out the trip report here.
I did this climb solo (my first ever) from Bunny Flat to the summit in 7 hours. The conditions were good - very little wind on the mountain. I left Bunny Flat at 2:30am and made Lake Helen at 4:30am. The snowline started just above the camp at 10,400 ft. By 5am I was working my way up the rockfall littered snowfield toward the Red Banks. There were 2 other groups climbing ahead of me. I wanted to make sure I got through the rockfall area early in the morning. I took the right of the Heart route. Below the Red Banks I decided to go the most direct route up the first (far left) chimney. It looked easier than it was...the top of the chimney got very steep and icy. Not a good place to fall. Later when I was descending I talked to a climber who was resting as his buddy climbed the same route...without wearing crampons!! That is nuts. I made the base Misery Hill after getting out of the chimney (it was full of rocks at the top). My legs were feeling fried from the non-stop climb so I rested. I continued on to the summit at what seemed like a snail's pace - walking 25 steps then resting. There was no need for crampons after the chimney. At 9:30am I made the summit where 5 other climbers were resting in the warm sun. The weather and views were fantastic! I descended via the notch by Thumb Rock as recommended by the climbing ranger (far left side of Red Banks) and walked carefully down the steep red rock to the snowfield. After making a slow descent (my feet were giving me some problems) and not glissading (rocks in the chute) I made it back to the car at 4:30pm. All in all a great climb and my first solo expedition. Final thoughts... going solo is tougher mentally than I thought (something about walking in pitch blackness with a headlamp on for hours with not a soul in sight)...but once I made it to Lake Helen I knew I would reach the summit.
Went up with my pops, ivanthedark and a friend from berkeley. The Hotlum-Wintun Glacier route is fantastic fun for intermediate climbers.
Without a doubt my favorite solo climb of a peak in the lower 48.
Joel Ward, his brother Dan and I climbed via Avalanche Gulch on July 6 & 7, 1999. We arrived at the Bunny Flat Trail headaround 10:00 a.m. After the usual registartion paperwork was finished and we picked up our potty bags, we were finally on our way. The stroll through the woods to Horse Camp was very pleasant, although a bit dusty as it is a well used trail. We talked to several day hikers along the way. After partaking of the fresh spring water and taking a few pictures at Horse camp, we continued on our way. There was no snow along the trail, although the loose rock and scree made for some slippery spots, until we reached 50/50 flat. It has been a continual uphill trudge so far. Here the trudge was now through soft afternoon snow to reach camp at Helen Lake. The views were fabulous and we drank in the beauty that was all around. After setting up camp we visited with several of the other climbers who were there. I didnit bring my water filter/pump, thinking that we would just melt snow. There was a nice little snow melt stream and a couple of other climbers who brought pumps and let us use them. Thanks!! The sunset was spectacular. Several people went over to Casaval Ridge to watch it. After a restless night, excitement over the the next day, we were up at 5, had a hot breakfast and started out at 6 am. Hind sight tells me we should have started out sooner. We headed up Avalanche Gulch (which is much steeper than it appears), went to the right of the Heart and up through the Red Banks. We kept up a steady pace. Near the base of the Red Banks, we met a group that had left much sooner that us but was having some difficulty. They would race up and then stop to catch their breath. Unfortunately at this altitude that technique doesn’t work well. Dan talked to them about pacing your breathing with your walking. We also met a family on their way down who said they had been “blown off Misery Hill.” They were right. At Misery Hill the winds became pretty strong, but not so much as to hold us back. We stayed right along a line of rocks to the right edge of the hill and that seemed to block the wind a bit. As we reached the summit plateau it seemed as if the ‘fan” had suddenly been turned off. The summit plateau is a big ice field. When we reached the far side and were ready to start up the final climb we could smell the sulfer fron the hot springs here. We finally summited at 1pm. The view was awesome. The number of people at the summit was also quite a surprise. After the usual pictures and visiting we headed back down. As we headed back across the summit plateau we met again the group we had passed at the Red banks. They were doing much better and looked like they were going to make it. We did not follow the same route back down Misery Hill. Instead we circled around near the head of Konwakiton Glacier to the Red Banks The glissade from here was very exhilarating, although the snow was getting a little mushy as we neared camp. We packed up and headed down the hill. I had knocked my water bottle over after we had everything packed and the climbers with the pumps were gone. I was pretty dehydrated by the time we arrived at Horse Camp. I must have downed 64 oz of that cold spring water in no time. Once rehydrated, the rest of the trip was quite pleasant. What an awesome trip.
Crowded climb on a fourth of July week end. Latecomers had trouble finding a flat spot to camp on at Helen lake. With an early start we were on the summit around 8:00 am; the glissade down was even quicker. Beautiful day for a stroll.
Very warm, lots of rock fall. Snow is melting fast.
On 19 May 2001 Garth Utter joined Ed Reiter and myself on the summit at about 1:30 PM. We successfully completed the Casaval Ridge Route under clear skies but with winds up to 40 to 50 mph on the top of the ridge. This was a second summit of Shasta for all three of us. It was an interesting, airy and mixed alpine experience. We experienced snow/ice slopes up to 55 degrees and climbed class 4 rock along the ridge line with some significant exposure and awe inspiring runout below.
In my defense, I made it within ~20ft of the top. I *would* have made it but Josh gave me incorrect directions to the top when we passed each other on Misery Hill.
Climbed with Ryle and Sebe. Insane winds at the top of Misery Hill and near the summit made for some interesting "climbing" (I literally almost got blown off the mountain). A huge lenticular cloud hung over Shasta all day. Otherwise, perfect conditions. The snow at the lower elevations was pretty consolidated. Above 10K ft there was a nice wind-packed surface. Ryle and Sebe didn't summit for various reasons. Did the round trip from the parking lot in 5.5 hours.
Well, my friend, Lee Price said,"Come on up and we'll do Shasta". I told him that I thought it was February and pretty cold. He reassured me that we'd have the mountain to ourselves.........and he was right !!! Joined by teacher friend, Steve, we plugged up the hill to about the 11,000 ft. level and spent a very comfortable night. The next morning revealed that it had stormed, below us, that is, so we summited with a sea of white clouds beneath us and blazing blue sky above !!! Glissading down " Giddy Gully" we hollered , Laughed and giggled, descending in a few hours what had taken nearly 2 days to climb. Thank you, Priceless, wherever you are for a fine, fine trip and a wonderful lesson in Life. If you're going to run with the Big Dogs, you've got to get off the porch !!!!
On Saturday afternoon we drove up from sea level to bunny flat. I got up at 4:45 on Sunday after a long night of not sleeping because my climbing partner, Slavedriver needed to sleep with the clock (in the car), and I had to sleep on the parking lot at bunny flat. (I used to be able to sleep on such surfaces but found out that is not longer the case). We started the climb at 5:00, and I followed in his postholes. The snow didn't slow him down much, and I thought I was moving quickly considering the condition, but was definitely not matching The Slavedriver's breakneck speed. We went a little ways up towards Avalanchce Gulch, and then went up one of the windows to Casaval Ridge at around sunrise, when we put on crampons. Here I was warned that "If 'we' don't speed up, 'we're' not going to make it", even though my heart was going at about 170bpm. I got slower and slower as we kept going, I think not taking time to eat was detrimental (Slavedriver wouldn't let me, and the guy had an ice axe). We passed these people camping and the guy was like "Oh, we're staying here another night, no sense rushing it." That made a lot of sense to me. At around 12000 feet I was stopping every 100 feet for short recoveries and kept falling asleep (I am just a Silicon Valley Sally, what do you expect?). Slavedriver was getting pissed, but he was still pretty cordial, only yelling at me occassionally. I was exhausted, but I was not getting a headache due to my steady diet of Ibuprofen. Somewhere we hit a 15 foot 5.5 climb, and that woke me up, since I was unroped and not quite sure how far I'd slide down the mountain after a fall (It was actually safe, I was just too groggy to realize it). After that I was much more energetic and the climb was easy, what I remember of it. I remember the summit was damn windy, that's for sure. We might have summited around 3:00. I would not advise doing Casaval Ridge in one day unless you are in shape. Especially if you are with The Slavedriver.
Single day ascent with Ryle. 80+ mph winds in places. Forgot sunscreen. Face is not happy.
Summited on a beautiful day around 10:30 AM. Conditions were perfect. I recommend taking a basic snow school with one of the local guide services. Mount Shasta is a great introduction to mountaineering.
My first summit of Mt, Shasta was in June of 1998. I love this mountain. I've been back several times and summited three times, all solo. As long as I am able to climb I will return to try the many diverse routes. Green Butte/Sargents Ridge and Casaval Ridge are both outstanding and have been two of my most memorable climbs.
My May 1999 climb was my first time up Shasta, and it was by myself. I started hiking at 3:05 am from the Bunny Flat parking lot, and to my frustration, the snow at the lower elevations had not frozen solid during the night. This made for an unpleasant hour of postholing. Finally, at about 9,000 ft, I reached firm snow. At 7:50, I reached the summit, snapped a few photos, then began the long descent. I got back to my car at 9:59 am.
My August, 2000 climb was with two other people. Ryle and I reached the summit without any trouble. The other guy we were with didn't do so well.