Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:15 pm Posts: 2579 Location: san diego CA
Mount Shasta 14,162 feet Cascade Range Northern California
I couldnt put the 06 Season to bed. After all it was only July. Last year my season ran through mid august. It was the first part of July and I was already Jonesin for some turns. Most of the So Cal split community had turned their passions to other pleasures. Some were away at weddings, some at the beach but none seemed interested.......except Dave. Things were looking up. I had been reading TR's from a few days earlier. Their was snow, but man it was hot. Then I started getting replys from Matt at Mammoth Mountain forums. Seemed He needed time for a few more turns too. He even had a few others who were interested. Plans were carved in stone, and on friday July 21st I pulled out of San Diego at 11:00 am headed for Redondo Beach. Daves house. And with a little help from the traffic gods we were out of LA by 3pm. Things were looking good. Over the grapevine and into Hell we rode. At least it seemed thats where we were going, the temperature outside was 108 and crops were melting as we drove along. We stopped for gas , and as Dave was filling the truck I noticed traffic was slowing...er ah stopping on the 5. Thats when the lady at the store told everyone " The 5 has just shut down. A truck loaded with Marinara Sauce turned over and the freeway looks like an Italian Buffet" . Damn, just when things werwe looking good. We asked a local and he said to go east on the 198 to the 99 over in Vasalia. Off we wnet. Again. Things were going good in a few hours as we cruzed through Sacramento, Redding and then into Mt. Shasta. We looked for a place to throw out the tents and crash a few hours.
Next morning we wer on the streets of Mount Shasta by 9 am
Man I love this place. Main street reminds me a Television town. Always nice and neat. We had plans to Meet with the others at 5th season so they could rent gear.
Dorthy gets Boots
Stewart also needed some equipment
So we are waiting out back of the store for everyone and Stewart casually mentions he needs tape for his foot. I say " Blisters?" he says " No, its broken"
Now Im getting a little nervous. This is a BIG mountain and a lot of climbing. Can a person climb with a gimp foot? We will see.
As the other were getting their gear all set Dave and I got permits Me getting the permit
Dave issues next
We started out to the trail at 1:30 pm. That sounds a bit late, but we were waiting for the temps to drop below 90 degrees so we would'nt combust while hiking. The trail head was an hours drive from Shasta
Man its amazing what a rental car can do.
Soon all the players were assembled at the Trailhead.
And we were off
We were all looking through the woods for the first sign of snow
After lots of small patches we finally made it to the skin point
Matt gears up
Mike needed a post card shot for his friends back home. He is from Ft. Collins Colorado and this was his first time to Shasta.
Stewart thinks about what lies ahead
After 12 hours of driving, a weak attemp at sleep and some hot , hot temps we were finally gaining altitude. Clouds around the summit made the mountain look like it was erupting
Three hours later we had made it to 10,200 and highcamp. Mike shows Stewart the distance we have traveled in the scope of things
Soon tents were up
And the sun started to go down. Some shadow play was in order
But I think the mountain won with its all encompassing everpresent shadow at sunset
Chat turned to yawns and it was time for bed.
Just before turning in I checked on Dave. He wasnt feeling well due to heat and altitude. Both Mike and Stewart had though I would be up and headed back down in the morning due to Daves condition. I dint think Dave would go down that easy. Sure enough who was first on the snow?
Matt and Dorthy wernt far behind
Stewart was ready with his good luck charm
As we climbed clouds started forming to the east and got closer
This made me think we were going to get shut out. I kept my eye on the weather.
A few hours later we had gotten across the hotlum snow field and crossed over to the wintun ridge. Dave and I were ahead and we though the others had stopped at the ridge. As we climbed the snowfield to the top Matt, Dorthy and stewart yelled up. They were at 13700 and were going to hang there
Mike had stopped over at the top of the snowfield and decided to wait there.
Dave and I decided to drop our packs and get the last 300 feet done. 20 minutes later we were on top signing in.
And we both had to stand on the summit rocks
At the summit clouds were swirlling around and we heard eagles . Looked around and saw several that had ridden up on the thermal lift of the thunderstorm. Really cool. Sitting on the summit surrounded by eagles.
Dave and I downclimbed and met up with the others. It was time to lay some tracks. I went first to get a good filming spot. The snow was suncupped but not to bad. Dave went next and with every turn was setting off some nice wet sluff that started sounding like rattlesnakes and ran all the way down the glacier. The top was runnellled in the middle so I sent everyone to the other side of the snowfield. The good snow started when we crossed over to the Hotlum snow field.
Mikie was making some nice Teleturns
There were some issues with binding settings giving some a few problems
And Dorthy decided to rest on the way down
Looking back how could you not love this?
We made it back to camp by 4:30 and started to pack up. Then it happened. I was folding my tent and I heard Matt yell out" Runaway board"
I knew it was mine. I had left it stading on end , stuck in the soft snow, it was onits way down. Without me. So Im standing at 10,400 and I know the snow goes down to at least 9000 feet and there are some fingers that go much lower. I recalled my patroll days and what happens when a board goes loose. It follows the fall line all the way down.
Now I have visions of myself banging around the Shasta treeline in the dark, full pack looking for my board. I quickly gather my things and tell the group Im going after my board. I will meet them at the snow line. I start down. Im thinking I will never see the board again. And then bam, There it is. Laying on its side, in the middle of the snow unmolested. No rock dings, and only 400 feet lost. I get on it and end my day with another 1500 feet of riding. It was great. Red Bacteria below the snow surface was exposed with every turn making my path look like blood. Even the crack in my split had deep red snow gushing up as I turned. When I got to the end, my light grey base was glowing with a pink hue.
Dave and I continued to the truck as the others made their way down the snow. Everyone was all smiles.
We tried to hang at the trailhead for everyone but the Mosquitos were eating us alive and we had visions of grilled beef dancing in our heads, so off to town we went. We were treated to a nice lighting show in the jacuzzi that night . We left for home the next morning, but not without doing a little "recon" on the way home.
Im thinking for next yesr, I will bring up the boat and make this a week long vacation. Wakeboard, climd shasta , then wakeboard.
I mean how can you pass this up?
Thanks to a good crew, it was a gret time. Photos by Ray Ellis and R. Stewart McWilliams
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 2:55 pm Posts: 1 Location: San Diego
Sounds like you had too much fun Glad you got your board back. That would have really hurt Ouch!
Making the trip longer sounds like a plan get some more play time to match all the drive time. SD freehealer gotta stick together....