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Mt. Shasta 14,179 Feet

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Mt. Shasta 14,179 Feet

Postby Vaca Russ » Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:10 am

We completed our preparations for an exciting climb and drove up the Sacramento Valley to the southern end of the Cascades. The weather was perfect.

1 Temperature in the Sacramento Valley.JPG


We met our group at the trailhead at Bunny Flat.

2 Trailhead.JPG


The hike to Horse Camp was short. It was 1.7 miles and about a 1000 foot elevation gain. Our packs were very heavy with equipment. Horse Camp is private property owned by the Sierra Club. There is an historic cabin at Horse camp.

3 Sport at Cabin.JPG


There are rules for the climbers.

4 Horse Camp Rules.JPG


Here are some of the climbing routes with ratings.

5 Climbing Routes.JPG


Sport felt quite muscular after hauling that giant pack up to camp.

6 Camp at Horse Camp.JPG


There is the nicest privy I’ve ever experienced at Horse Camp. It is a solar powered, composting privy.

7 Solar Privy.JPG


The next day we traveled farther up the slope to a spot below Lake Helen. This is Sport with our two guides Jason and Brandon.

8 Sport with Guides Jason and Brandon.JPG


This is the route farther up the slope to our second night’s camping spot.

9 Hike to second camp.JPG



Some chose to camp in the snow but we set up our tent on a flat spot Sport snagged before the others could get there. :)

10 Camp below Lake Helen.JPG


To be continued…
” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway



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Re: Mt. Shasta 14,179 Feet

Postby Vaca Russ » Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:16 am

This is a view of the ridge we climbed the next morning. We were up at 1 AM and left at 2 AM. The climb was a cold and grueling climb with some dangers. We were about half way up the slope when Brandon suddenly yelled, “ROCK!! RUN LEFT!! RUN LEFT!!”

11 Alalanche Gulch Route.JPG


A rock, bigger than a bowling ball, was bouncing down the slope at a very high rate of speed. It was very lucky none of the climbers on the slope got hit. It probably would have been fatal.
There can be a little bit of technical rock climbing when you reach the Red Banks depending on the route you take.

12 Rock Climbing.JPG


13 Sport Climbing.JPG


Our guide, Brandon, demonstrates why this rock feature is known as the thumb.

14 Thumb.JPG


Once you pass the Red Banks you are confronted with Misery Hill.

15 Sport Below Misery Hill.JPG


There is what Brandon calls the windy ridge at the top of Misery Hill. Here you can see Brandon and his new wife, Lauren, planning their climbing strategy. You can see the summit pinnacle in the background.

16 Lauren and Brandon on Windy Ridge.JPG


We reached the summit and signed the register.

17 Sport Register.JPG


18 Register Sig..JPG


I can’t convey how hard we worked to get this picture. It was literally months of hard training.

19 Summit.JPG


We had a great group of four guides and eleven clients.

20 Group Shot.JPG


Thank you for reading our post.

-Russ
” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
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Re: Mt. Shasta 14,179 Feet

Postby maverick » Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:20 pm

Haven't been up Shasta in decades, stayed at Bunny Flats the first night, and Helen
the next. Thank you for the TR and fantastic photo's.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Mt. Shasta 14,179 Feet

Postby old and slow » Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:45 pm

Vaca Russ,
I always enjoy reading your trip reports and this one is no exception! Congratulations on this major achievement.
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Re: Mt. Shasta 14,179 Feet

Postby Shawn » Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:13 am

Nice TR and photos; congrats on the big summit.
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Re: Mt. Shasta 14,179 Feet

Postby giantbrookie » Thu Jun 26, 2014 5:52 pm

Nice report. Shasta is such a fun climb/hike no matter how you do it. I couldn't help notice how little snow you had, too. That makes for much harder work, plus it probably means more rockfall, too. Those rocks are scary too when get going on the snow as if on an air cushion. Its a very different sort of deal than the bouncing rocks on rocks.

Shasta was a key climb for Judy because in order to get in shape to climb it (dayhike it in our case), we needed a serious warm up (conditioning) trip, and Judy decreed that the warm up trip must involve high country fish, which is a difficult thing to find so early the year (we went after Shasta--our 3rd attempt--on Memorial Day weekend of 1992), because nearly all of the target lakes would be frozen over. I could think of only one appropriate place to go (a trailless, lake of about 6200' elevation in NW Yosemite)--that "conditioning" trip was the one that started what amounted to the "golden age" of the long off trail backpacking fishing trips that Judy and I did so much of from 1992-1998. Until that "conditioning" trip we had not done a backpacking trip so exploratory, whereas after that we pretty much went whereever our imagination beckoned.

Shasta will always occupy a special place in the mountain annals of our family. It is always nice to see photos and reports of that place. The funny thing is that Judy, although she climbed over a dozen SPS peaks with me in the High Sierra, really never pointed to a peak and said "We MUST climb that one" except for Shasta. We had done a backpack trip to Big Blue Lake in the Russian Wilderness in 1990 and Judy felt that Shasta was just too fine a mountain for her not to climb.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Mt. Shasta 14,179 Feet

Postby J ney » Thu Jun 26, 2014 6:36 pm

Great TR!! Hope your arm is feeling better!

Shasta is losing snow fast... Had a nice view flying up to Seattle on Tuesday.
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