My family decided to climb up Brokeoff in preperation for Mount Shasta. We thought that this would be easy, but we did not look at snow conditions.
When we got to the trailhead, there was a couple that had hiked up (Not to the top, as we later found out) and skied down. We put on snowshoes, loaded up our packs, and started hiking.
The beggining was not difficult. It was a steady and noticable grade, but not exactly steep. About 20 degrees is my guess. Even with snowshoes, our feet were sinking 4-6 inches, the snow was very slushy. After a little bit (2-3 hundred vertical), i decided to go off into the trees adjacent to the trail, just to trailbreak a little bit, and cool down. When I rejoined the group, i was behind.
After our first water break, the slope got a little less steep, and we made better timing. We traveled through the trees at a good pace until we encountered a little problem.
A 45-55 degree slope rose in front of us. About 200 vertical feet high.
A less steep part of that. Steepness is also distorted.
I opted to go with the design of the snowshoes and go strait up it. The others followed me up a slope that was much harder than it appeared. I slowly half climbed, half crawled up it. Sending the shaft of my ice axe all the way in, and still sliding some (another example of the slush). When i was about half way up, i decided to traverse slightly to where i was below a ledge where i could top out more easily. My dad, who had followed my tracks,stepped in my travers steps, but found it more difficult than i had to traverse because a few of my steps had slid and smoothed out the slush.
When we got above that, we walked up to a sunny area at the top of the highest (and steepest) part of the face. I took a picture of the rest of the family, and we headed on.
The slope was almost completely flat, until we encountered a second steep part, lees steep, but longer. I wanted to go strait up, but eventually joined the rest of the family, who had gone up an easier way.
The next portion of the climb was filled with a constant series of almost gaining the ridgetop, than having to go up another 300 feet. Then this finally ended, we felt like we were almost done, and could make it to the top in one push. We headed up the 30 degree slope that lead to the top, but the slush became soft snow, so we stopped, removed our snowshoes, and pu on our crampons. THe going was much easier, but we were still not able to make it to the top in one push, and stopped above a notche were a tree jutted out from the slope. My brother and i were ahead of my parents, and we waited for about five minutes. While we continued, one of my crampon's became undone, and i was forced to stop with my dad while the others went ahead. When i finally got moving again, the others had already reached rock and were nearing the trail. They reachd the summit about five minutes before me, and i reached it about three minutes before my dad.
We rested about 30 minutes before making the descent. We took many pictures, including the main image, before removing our crampons and descending.
THe descent ws rather unevnetful. We managed about 1000 total vertical of gliassading, but after a while, except on the really steep slope, the snow would no let us slide. On the really steep slope, we glissaded with snowshoes, not crampons. After the final glissade, we trudged on through the slush, which had developed a crust. Our feet were getting colder, and since we had no brought gaters, water ws leaking into even my dad's Gore-tex boots. My boots, which had been non-Gore-tex waterproof, were no longer waterproof, and my brothers feet were num.
When we finally got back to the parking lot and removed our snowshoes, a puddle of icewater fromed around my boots.
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