Couldn't find the trail from clear creek up onto the ridge so we just went straight up the side of the ridge. There was no one up on the ridge but lots down at clear creek. Camped up near the snow half way up the ridge in some bivy sites with rock protection from the wind. Left the next morning at 4am and got to the top of the ridge where it gets really steep by sunrise. Put on crampons and climbed straight up the really steep snow then continued on up through the scree to the summit. Awesome route but really steep and not much of any trail.
Great climb with friends! Camped at 11,000 on Wintun ridge, summited at 8am the next day, which helped because the snow wasn't too soft on the descent. One first-timer in group did great. One friend skied the entire descent from the summit plateau. Didn't see a soul until the summit. I definitely like the east/southeast routes on Shasta better than Av. Gulch. The camping is better than Helen, and you get to see the sunrise behind you. Good snow conditions up high, but lots of patchy snow on the approach. The only problem with going earlier in the year is that the Clear Creek Trailhead & road is usually still closed several miles out. We did the Clear Creek Route in May 09. The snow was great, but the longer approach & those last 4-5 extra miles back to the car are brutal.
Really enjoyed my time on this one, my fifth trip up Shasta. Camped at 8300 ft after some lesser summits July 9, then up the next morning. Very straightforward route, except with the darkness and new moon I got caught in some trees and ended up bushwacking at around 8700. I found it humorous actually, never thought I'd be thrashing about and smelling fresh pine sap on the slopes of Mount Shasta. Descended the Clear Creek route.
No snow on the lower ridge- first put on crampons at 11,600 feet, but the ridge was still enjoyable, not a bunch of loose rock like Clear Creek.
Failed attempt at climbing and skiing via Wintun Ridge. A typical Shasta storm shut us down at around 12000 feet. Below the storm (12000' to Clear Creek Springs) the skiing was great, but wicked winds and zero visibility kept us from going any higher.