Ascent of Mount Shasta on 2010-06-10

Climber: Marlin Thorman

Others in Party:Trisha Thorman
Date:Thursday, June 10, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Shasta
    Elevation:14162 ft / 4316 m

Ascent Trip Report

Mount Shasta at camp in the valley
Well here we are again. It is June and another mountain looms above me. Shasta is a big mountain with such a long way to go. The weather has been iffy for the past couple weeks, but finally things are looking up. It was a beautiful day for most of today and we had a good chance to look at our route ( the West Face Gully). Hopefully the weather and conditions will allow us to summit. Who knows fro sure it can be so changeable. Tomorrow we set off to base camp in Hidden Valley. Now it is time for some sleep.

Mount Shasta from Base camp at Lake Helen
Well we had a change of plans. Originally we were going to climb the West Face Gully but the rangers said it was really icy up on the mountain. They advised going up the standard Avalanche Gulch instead because it isn’t as steep. So we set off this morning at 10:30am from the car. A little late but we made good time. Got up to base camp at 10,440 feet at Helen Lake in just under 5 hours. It was a long climb and we are tired out. Anyway not sure if we will go up tomorrow or the next day. There is supposedly a chance of snow tonight and tomorrow although as of 9pm it is fairly calm and slightly overcast. We are getting up at 3am to check the weather. I guess we will just go with whatever is given us.

Mount Shasta from parking lot
Woke up at midnight to check the weather and it was clear. Woke up at 3am to get started for the summit and it was windy and starting to snow. I checked my watch and it showed a drop in barometric pressure over the past 3 hours so we decided to sleep in and move summit day to Friday. Trisha woke up at 6am and said it was cold and clear outside. I got up and it looked promising. We decided to give it a try even though it would be a very late start. Got up, quickly ate breakfast and packed up. The first 1000 vertical feet went by fast. A good pace with nice hard snow. Then we hit ice. The gully steepened to about 35 degrees or so for the next 1000 feet and there was a half an inch of snow over solid crusted ice. Our progressed slowed down considerably as we slowly self belayed ourselves with our ice axe. Finally we reached the top of the Red Banks. Here is where the wind hit. We continued up to the base of Misery Hill where we met 3 groups coming down. Several of them were guided groups, and all had started around 2am and climbed right through the storm. We summited at 12:45pm and stayed only long enough to grap a couple pictures. Going down was fast and great until we got to the same ice slope. We had hoped that with such a late start, things would have been melted by 2pm but it wasn’t. It took us a full 1.5 hours to painfully self belay down the 1000 ft ice face. Finally back to camp we quickly packed everything up and headed for the car. Fortunately things were melted lower down and we glissaded quite a lot making it to the car in under 90 minutes. It was a great climb!
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:7214 ft / 2198 m
    Total Elevation Loss:7214 ft / 2198 m
    Round-Trip Distance:9.8 mi / 15.8 km
    Grade/Class:Grade III, Class 2
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:7214 ft / 2198 m
    Distance:4.8 mi / 7.7 km
    Route:Avalanche Gulch
    Start Trailhead:Bunny Flat Trailhead  6948 ft / 2117 m
    Time:1 Days 2 Hours 0 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:7214 ft / 2198 m
    Distance:5 mi / 8.1 km
    Route:Avalanche Gulch
    End Trailhead:Bunny Flat Trailhead  6948 ft / 2117 m
    Time:0 Days 5 Hours 30 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Marlin Thorman
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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