Ascent of Mount Shasta on 2016-07-10
|Date:||Sunday, July 10, 2016|
|Ascent Type:||Unsuccessful - Turned Back|
| Elevation:||12000 ft / 3657 m|
Ascent Trip ReportSiskiyou CA
Mt Shasta – 14,162’
With Jessica Perkins, Andy Westmeyer, Michelle Cooper, Elliott Forcier, Steve Clark, Sheryl Lampert, Katie Hendrickson, Rachel Miedema, Mindy Decker.
This group of students, ranging from about 25 – 48, were in a recent Colo Mtn Club High Altitude Mountaineering School (HAMS) class. About half had already climbed Rainier, some just a couple weeks prior.
We encountered rain when we landed in Medford on Friday July 8. We chose to visit Crater Lake NP instead of heading up Shasta. Mist, fog, low clouds prevented us from seeing much, but we did walk down to lake level. I drank some water, not bad. The gang was not interested in visiting any of the rim points noted on Peakbagger dot com.
We drove in on Saturday morning to the North Gate TH, for an attempt of the Hotlum-Bolum Ridge route. We had pondered a direct assault on the Hotlum Glacier, but the winds were predicted to exceed 60-80mph for a few days at the summit. We elected a more conservative target. We hiked to a high camp at 10,000’, similar to where I had in 2011 with Dennis Poulin, James Graham, and others. The winds were modest there overnight, but we could see wind up high. We set out for the summit about 3:30AM, clear skies, some wind. We wore crampons, harnesses, helmets right from camp, but used poles to ascend the snow field above us to about 11,000’, then cross a thin rock rib to the H-B Ridge itself. This is a broad smooth snowfield/glacier running from perhaps 10,000’ to 13,000’, at which points it blends into the upper summit rocks and ice slopes above the Hotlum Glacier. It is smooth, and goes from perhaps a 15d slope to around 35d at the top. It faces directly North.
Winds were extreme above us, and at ~12,000’ we turned down and back to high camp. I estimate the summit winds to be above 50-60mph. The lenticular cloud kept building as the day wore on. The USFS ranger had shown us a meteorology web page that predicted 80-100mph at the summit for Sunday.
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