Ascent of Mount Shasta on 2015-06-16

Climber: Scott Greco

Others in Party:Mike Christiansen
Brian McCarty
Date:Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Shasta
    Elevation:14162 ft / 4316 m

Ascent Trip Report

Definitely the toughest climb I've done so far. We started at 11:30pm on Monday, due to the fact that the days are getting hot, and walking in soft snow is like walking in soft, soupy mud. Not the way to go. Arrived at Helen Lake and met up with Mike's father, Don, who arrived several hours earlier and graciously melted snow for us. We refilled our water bottles, rested for a few minutes, and we were off to our next goal at the top of Red Banks. We had already put on our crampons prior to Helen Lake since the snow was below 9000' approximately. We finally made it to the top of Red Banks well after sunrise, maybe around 7:30 ish. The anguish continued, burning quads, calves and lungs, but after a very short break and a lot of water; we were off to tackle the justly named Misery Hill. It's definitely named this because once you get to the top of it, you see the true summit for the first time realizing the pain and anguish of the task you completely volunteered to do is definitely not over. After a couple of switch backs and a few hundred feet of vertical the summit is attained. If I wasn't so completely exhausted, I would have given it a big shout out, but I was conserving all the precious oxygen I could, due to the fact that we still had to make it back down. Hey, but down is easier, right? It really was once we got below Red Banks and were able to glissade for the most part all the way to Helen Lake. After 15 and a half hours, and no sleep since awaking Monday morning, I was glad to arrive back at my truck accomplishing one of the toughest mountains in the contiguous United States. Next year, Rainier.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:7212 ft / 2198 m
    Round-Trip Distance:11.8 mi / 19 km
    Route:Avalanche Gulch
    Trailhead:Bunny Flat  6950 ft / 2118 m
    Quality:10 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:10 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:5 Hours 

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