Ascent of Mount Shasta on 1984-08-16

Climber: Frederick Johnson

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Thursday, August 16, 1984
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Shasta
    Elevation:14162 ft / 4316 m

Ascent Trip Report

On this, my second ascent of Mt. Shasta via Avalanche Gulch, I started yesterday at the Bunny Flat TH and backpacked up past the Shasta Alpine Lodge to Helen Lake to pick out a campsite in the rocks. There was no "lake" at Helen Lake. It was deserted at the time of my mid-afternoon arrival, and the sun's heat was quite strong. Definitely better to arrive later, as many others did. There were probably 15 people camped at Helen Lake by 7:00P. As the sun set, a young girl with a group from Medford sang and played her lute-----a wonderful memory of the occasion.

The other climbers were underway by 4:30AM, but it was after 6:00AM before I started my climb. I headed up the firm snow to Thumb Rock, then over to the top of the Red Banks, up Misery Hill,and across the plateau through the old crater to the summit. By now everyone else had departed, and I had the summit to enjoy by myself Given another perfect day like I had on my first visit in 1948, I remained on top reading the register in detail, snacking, and enjoying these special moments for an hour. Then it was back down Misery Hill and through the Red Banks. I descended a chute to the snow and, with a plastic garbage bag under me, sat down and, guided by my ice axe, slid quickly down the snow slope. At Helen Lake I packed up, hiked out to Bunny Flat, and headed to Mount Shasta for dinner and the comfort of a hot shower and comfortable bed.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Mt. Shasta summit (1984-08-16). Photo by Frederick Johnson.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:7212 ft / 2198 m
    Round-Trip Distance:11 mi / 17.7 km
    Route:Avalanche Gulch, Helen Lake
    Trailhead:Bunny Flat TH  6950 ft / 2118 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2-3
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads

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