Dayhiked this one. Lots of scree which was pretty miserable. 4th time on the summit of Mt Shasta. Beautiful day on an uncrowded route.
Just a climbers trail all the way to the summit. Safe route in late season, was having flashbacks of Aconcagua with all the scree trails. Pics and map of route at http://www.willhiteweb.com/california_climbing/clear_creek_route/mount_shasta_164.htm
Summit for Someone victory.
Dragged a friend with me on my first solo glaciated climb after taking a mountaineering course in July. My friend stayed at Helen Lake and played in the snow which had withdrawn right to the tent sites in the late season, and slept in when I left early the next morning via Ava. Gulch. I took a route to the left of 'The Heart' to climb alone among the needle-ice formations due to thawing and refreezing of the snow surface, which made for an eerie climb in the dark. I took a lesser traveled gully for a bit of a challenge beside a fairly large cornice and up onto the first snowfield. The upper snowfield was an interesting piece and then hiding among the rocks on the far side I tried to get some blood-flow back into my fingers and decided to spend some $ on better gloves for my next climb. I took an interesting route to the summit from the sulfur fields as I failed to notice the fairly obvious trail that led an easy way around to the west side of the summit. I however, did some sketchy scrambling around the North-East side only to shimmy up through a chimney (pretty neat) only to come up out of the crack upon the summit where others had gathered. After some strange looks due to my route of choice I joined them in a congratulatory beer (slushy) and a few pix before enjoying a rapid glissade down the gulch which was more like an ice luge course at that point!
Barely made it up and down before a storm. Nobody who left camp at Helen Lake after 3am made the summit on that day.
Did it in both 1990 (north side with friends) and in 1992 (solo) on the south side. Fun climb on the north side, crowded grunt on the south side.
Great climb. My friends carried skis and had a 6,000 foot run down the snowfield south of the glacier.
Success. Fun route with good scenery.
Seriously, the weather could not have been better for this trip. Perfectly clear skies, low winds and good snow made for a safe and beautiful ascent. We left Lake Helen around 4:45 and summited at 9:15. A low-wind, high-sun summit made for a nice rest before glissading down to Helen. The forest service rangers had a constant presence, always making sure climbers were safe and having fun (as well as checking for summit passes of course). My husband spoke with one of the rangers at length about an intense winter rescue some years ago. We were blessed to have such excellent weather yesterday.
day 1: drove up early Saturday to spend the day and night hiking around and acclimating an extra day, before attempting the Avalanche Gulch route. day 2: got up to Helen Lake and spent lots of time melting snow. slept early and got up around 2AM on day 3, ate and prepped gear to leave for a successful summit bid around 3:45 AM. snow coverage btwn Red Banks and the Thumb was thin so on Rangers' recommendation we ascended the third chute from the right in the Red Banks. weather was great, a bit windy up near the summit but nothing that kept us from topping out! long day though, as we hiked out and drove the 4+ hours home after summiting. good times.
Got a late start ended up rather sick until 4:00 AM. Beautiful at the summit sunny and no wind. Lots of little sun cups but snow was solid in the early morning.
Took the Hotlum-Bolum and were the only ones on the route for the start of a 8 day climbing trip that turned out perfect. Great snow conditions.
I did two attempts in one week. First one I got turned around because of weather at red banks from horse camp. The second one I got to the top of misery hill from helen lake and turned back due to AMS. Still an awesome mountain and I will be back.
My first but surely not last time on the mountain. Great climb with Rob and Anastasia.
Got disoriented on the approach in the dark--was heading for Cassaval ridge but accidentally gained the shoulder of green butte ridge. Summited via the Green Butte ridge and descended in 14 hours. Very, very windy day; had to hide behind boulders to avoid projectile icefall on the way up. Great climb with great snow conditions, although saw some old avalanche slide paths on the way down.
First time with Barbara and Arnie via AG, summited after light snowfall. Second time with Carter and Mark via AG (Left of Heart), great weather. Third time with Denise to Red Banks via AG, where her ankle gave out. Fourth time solo via Hotlum-Bolam Ridge, at the end of October (Halloween, I believe). Tried up and back in a day, leaving the car at 4:30am and heading up. Once I hit the snow I found perfect styrofoam! Patches of ice here and there, but nothing too worrisome. And nobody else was on the route! Felt as if I had paradise to myself for a day. Alas, on reaching the bench at 13K+ and looking up at the crux (the rock route didn't look too friendly, and while the traverse route looked as if it really amounted to one short pitch of steep, still, the exposure there is pretty dramatic), and suffering slightly from mild headache and queasiness, and with no one around should I biff, I decided to turn around and head back down. But altogether a most splendid day out! I recommend this route heartily, and I'd love to go back and take it to the summit some day.
We we too lazy to carry tent and stuff up the mountain, so we made it in one shot from Bunny Flats. Started at 23, peaked Shasta 7.30. 100 m visibility, well until we passed the Heart on the way back, then it was all sunny again :(
Back at Bunny 12.15. A loooong snow slogging trip. Nice trip, but mountaneering wize not really that interesting.
climbed the west face route, great conditions, solid snow and almost no wind great climb. Then we glissaded from the top of the west face down to hidden valley, quickest decent i have ever done and lots of fun.
NWS weather report looked pretty bad for last weekend, but we headed up anyway. Snow conditions were great on the way up to Helen Lake (consolidated, but not icy). Calm winds Friday night. Woke up at 1am to a whiteout. 2am snow showers. 2:30 clear skies, with the route beautifully lit by the moon.
Route was in good condition. Well-established boot track goes right of the heart and then up the right side of the Red Banks. Left the lake at 4am, summitted at 10:30 (I took up the rear of the group, so we were moving a little slow). Nice glissade on the way down after the Red Banks. Clouds moved in around 11 for whiteout conditions partway down. No lightning the whole trip; heard a couple of thunder rumbles from off in the distance.
There were 2-3 inches of fresh graupel above about 11k, which made the crampons less effective. Avalanche conditions weren't great; there was a a nice consolidated 6-inch crust over a weak layer in several places above the lake. I wouldn't want to be on the slab when it slides.
Things warmed up on the way down on Saturday, which was perfect for descent, but not so good for people coming up (sloshy, wet snow). It went from freezing sleet/snow at the lake on Saturday afternoon to a hot, sunny sauna in 15 minutes. Air temperature was probably 80 or 90 degrees for a while until the clouds rolled in again.
Weather is unstable right now, but you might get lucky like we did and catch a good window.
Anyone have a recent conditionds report for this route? Thanks for any input.