Mt. Shasta 4/21-4/22/2012
Last April Adam and I left Tahoe to climb and ride mountains in the PNW. Shasta was our first stop, and 355 days later I’m posting about it! We camped at the Bunny Flat trail head and woke up at a relatively leisurely hour to head up to Helen lake. Neither of us had been up Shasta before so we decided to make it an over night trip and take in some serious scenery, plus timing the soft, but not too soft snow for our descent would be far easier.
We dropped into avalanche gulch and continued the slog towards Helen lake. We met some Asian climbers that had a whole bunch of camera gear and were taking pictures of us. So I took a picture of them!
The sun was out and we were definitely feeling it. Even so, it didn’t take us too long to make it to the “lake”. We set up camp and had a relaxing afternoon hanging out in the sun.
After a very windy night we surprisingly woke to a calm morning.
This is a look at the Trinity Chutes, our planned ride down. It was hard to judge the scale of our surroundings. Points that appeared close could not be further away, and chutes that looked relatively tight from our camp were huge and allowed big swooping turns. Big mountains are amazing!
We made it past the heart and evaluated the conditions above. “Misery Hill” was choppy ice rime and we decided that the real misery would be riding down that. We buried our snowboards in the snow and headed for the summit.
The ridge line connecting the top of “Misery Hill” and the summit plateau was ridiculously windy and required meticulous and quick ax plunges to feel secure. Luckily this was short-lived, and the scramble up the summit block was all that lay ahead.
From this angle the summit pitch would be more of an ice climb, but wandering around the backside led to some easy scrambling and hiking to the top.
We walked down and collected our boards, switched to ride mode, and found our drop-in above the Trinity Chutes. The top was hard and edge-able but quickly transitioned to a beautiful wind buffed powder. It was a huge run down to our camp and the snow eventually turned to corn as we slashed arching turns to our tent! What a ride! We packed up camp and prepared for the slushy ride back to the car. Stayed tuned for the video footage of our snowboard decent.