Climbed Shasta Hotlum/wintun many times , just got into splitboarding. I've always thought of shasta as a boot ... thinking about taking the splitboard this weekend and doing the south side avalanche gulch. Anyone have any advise for me? Can you skin up to ~12,000 or so before booting becomes mandatory?
I went up avalanche gulch this past weekend on a guided trip. We booted all the way up from Horse Camp in one push. I think it would have been possible to skin up to Lake Helen, around 10K, by picking the right lines through the moraines below that level. It would be easy with splitboard crampons, I think. I wouldn't recommend skinning above Lake Helen right now. It would start out fine, but the gulch gets steep and just below Red Banks the surface deteriorates into a f*cking nasty rime crust that continues basically all the way to the top. And transitioning the board there would be a nightmare. That's my 2 scents, but you can decide for yourself:
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 12:37 pm Posts: 1865 Location: in between
Fassy and I split up the east side from Brewer's TH. Mostly because it was so warm we were able to set a track allllll the way to the top.
I think skinning up the west side is doable too, depending on temps, of course.
I think you can skin some ways past Helen in Avalanche gulch. I've seen skiers skinning from above Red Banks all the way to the summit block with ideal conditions, but don't count on it.
It can be a toss up, esp. if you're doing a route that require more board on back. I would be tempted to bring a solid board on a single push, but not an overnighter. For Avalanche Gulch, I'd bring the split.
Thanks you guys for the info. Since the east side trailhead is so buried , i was going to try avalanche gulch for the first time. We will just be doing a day trip - up to the top in one go. So would you guys still go with the split - up to lake helen at least?
I personally think that right now it is kind of a toss-up as to whether the solid board or the split is the better option. It depends on your preference & style. We left Horse Camp at 2 AM and the snow was frozen & booting was easy. And the challenges were all at the top (duh!!) where the board had to be on the back due to the snow conditions. Would have been nice to have lighter boards on our backs for that. But then again, it was nice skinning into Horse Camp with the heavy packs...
Either way works. The splits were a great choice for us because we spent a few days touring around the lower mountain before the summit push.