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 Peak(s):  Shasta - 14,162 feet
 Post Date:  06/15/2011
 Date Climbed:   06/12/2011
 Posted By:  jf32

 Mount Shasta - Avalanche Gulch   

Mount Shasta
Team: Lindsay, Clark, Rich, and myself
Roughly 11 miles and 7500 ft

It didn't take me long to buy a California 14er guidebook after I moved out here. It doesn't live up to Roach but then again I'm not sure any book will. Over the winter as I continued my obsession with 14ers - reading and rereading the routes - my girlfriend, Lindsay, expressed an interest in joining me on a trip to climb her first 14er. I was more than willing to take her up one. I showed her pictures of the non class 5 peaks (I still need to figure out a way to get up them) and told her to pick a mountain. She chose Shasta - because it's the prettiest and the best. I said done!

We decided it was best to try Shasta early in the season - as hard snow and crampons sounded much better to me than loose scree. I probably didn't do the best job offering training advice as we spent more nights with a bottle of wine than hitting the Lyon Street stairs (a San Francisco thing) or running - but I did do a good job marketing the trip as both Lindsay's dad and brother expressed interest and decided to join. I mean what better gift to get your girlfriend's dad than an ice axe right?

The game plan:
Friday night - leave the Bay area and stay at a hotel in Mount Shasta - a town at the base of the volcano (Elevation: Sea Level-3,700)
Saturday - Drive to the trailhead (Elevation: 3,700-7,000) and then hike up to Helen Lake (Elevation: 7,000-10,400) and set up camp.
Sunday - Camp to the summit (Elevation: 10,400-14,162) and then all the way back to San Francisco (Elevation: 14,162-sea level)

I figured that with this itinerary it would be a long and tough weekend - but manageable. This was going to be a bit more than a walk up. I really accepted the idea that we may not summit as I'd be climbing with three newbies. My primary goal was for everyone to have a fun time on the mountain - and possibly agree on coming on future trips.

Enough writing - here are some pictures:

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Clark sorting gear at the Cold Creek Inn


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Lindsay's trying out her pack


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I'm really glad I constantly checked weather to make sure we had great conditions.


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Day 1 hiking


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View of the Upper Mountain from Camp - The Red Band center marked the 2K vert halfway point on summit day.


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Setting up camp on the snow.


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The last picture of my tent before the winds destroyed it (a not so pleasant surprise after returning from the summit)


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Looking good for a 4 am start


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Shasta City at Helen Lake - I never did find the lake.


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Early morning climbing to the Red Banks.


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Shadow Shasta


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2000 ft later we arrive at the Red Bands


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Almost to the ridge - and looking pretty tough.


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A look back at the Ridge and the 'Thumb'


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After climbing above the Red Bands we had to climb the aptly named Misery Hill before gaining acess to the summit plateau.


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Finally the Summit is within sight! This was when I realized we would actually summit.


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The surprisingly small summit.


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We figured we'd take a group shot on the summit - I wonder if this has been done before.


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I couldn't find Sunshine in a can - but I thought about this bottle once I stepped on the summit. Well Done all!


All told 2 days in a snowy alpine environment. Plenty of firsts for my team and no one was hurt (despite my best efforts at forcing a glissade).

Huge Congratulations to to my team on a very well earned first 14er!.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (9)
dmccool


that's a great report     2011-06-16 11:05:32
Thanks for posting. You don't see Shasta reports very often, much appreciated!


unclegar


Congrats to all!     2011-06-16 20:33:08
That's quite the elevation gain. Looked like you had a good crew and nice weather. Really liked the summit shots.


Brian C


Nice work     2011-06-16 23:03:37
Glad to see others out there hiking the Cascades. Very cool. Makes me want to head down to Shasta now!


12ersRule


Great peak     2013-07-29 12:29:11
That was my very first 14er. Congrats to all of you. Impressive accomplishment. Took us 3 times to get past the Red Banks. Once that was done, we knew we had it made.


Mario

Thanks for report     2011-06-17 15:12:48
Nice pictures. I'm Planning to climb Shasta next week (my first time). I noticed you used snowshoes on part of your climb, do you think they are a must?. (Assuming conditions next week will be similar to 6/12/11)


jf32


Thanks     2011-06-17 18:41:25
dmccool: no prob - you may see a few more of these California TR's in the next few months.

Thanks: Gary
Brian: you should - it was a blast.
49ers: It seemed the higher we climbed the further those bands got away.

Mario: I would absolutely bring snowshoes if you plan on doing any part of the hike in/out after 1PM - there's a lot of snow still up there. That said - call the ranger station and ask - the trail seems to get a lot of traffic and you maye be ok without in another week. You won't need them on summit day.


14erFred


Well done, jf!     2011-08-23 14:51:11
Great climb, nice photos, and a fun TR! Keep on baggin' those 14ers, dude, and climb on!


Chary

Great job!     2011-08-25 22:47:59
Congrats!

How low did the snow line reach this year while you were there?

Are you going back to try a one-day push?


jf32


Thanks chary     2011-08-26 09:40:18
The snow was well below the main parking lot - with the road plowed to the end. We were on snow the whole time. I haven't thought much about going back but if I did it would prob be a one day push on a harder route.



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