Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:49 pm Posts: 96 Location: Bay Area, CA
This is my first trip report. I'm also relatively new to the Splitboard scene and this site. So, taking a cue from the school days, I did what any respectable kid that wants to fit in would do Ã¢â‚¬â€œ do what everybody else does. So, off to Shasta I went, along with riding buddy Mark (aka BC Mex.)
Our destination was the already highly featured Hot Tuna route (Hotlum/Wintun Ridge.) This adventure was originally introduced to Mark and me back in 1999, when a good friend (and Shasta guide at the time), showed us the goods.
Our plan this time was a more leisurely 3-day pace, allowing a little extra cushion for the non-super humans to make the climb a success. I think it was a good call.
Gear ready and waiting pick up Saturday morning, 5:00am. Note: collapsible 40 lbs dog crate was left behind, despite its obvious rock fall protection benefits.
Mark was right on time and we hit the road.
I snapped this pic at a rest stop just north of Redding. Not sure why it struck me as funny. I guess if people kept old men as pets, then somebody was in troubleÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
Seen this pic before? Getting closerÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
We made good time and rolled into Mt. Shasta City a little after 10am. We picked up our 3 day summit passes at the main ranger station. It was surprisingly quiet given the holiday weekend. Ranger Rick explained that the 4 day holiday had spread mtn traffic a bit. Made sense. He seemed psyched about our destination as well Ã¢â‚¬â€œ bonus points.
We picked up some final food needs and hit the road again. We got about a mile from the Brewer Creek trailhead and were denied by a Tacoma stuck in a snow drift. We accepted our fate, loaded up, and got to hiking around 1pm.
At the trailhead, we stocked up on growler bags.
I got a kick out of the target paper included. That was new to me since my last trip. I really struggled with how to properly score it though.
Snow was patchy down near the trailhead and we floundered a bit before we started skinning. Eventually we found what we were looking for.
Mark skinnin' in:
We had plans of hauling it to about 10K and a campsite we used last time. However, when we reached about 9K, we just decided we were good and done. No rush with the bonus day.
Dinner in the rocks at 9000 ft. Really, there was a flat spot for us to sleep onÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
Our original plan for day 2 was to take it easy. Maybe climb to 12K. Make a few turns. We decided to stick with the plan, but added a camp shuffle up to our favorite 10K spot.
Mark movin' camp:
The luxury suite:
Day 2 passed with the original short hike and a few turns. We got ourselves fed and to bed for the early launch.
The alarm went off at 3:30am. We suited up, ate breakfast, and hit the trail around 4:30am.
Weather had cooled a bit from the day prior and we had some morning cloud activity. We stayed above the action.
Mark dodging the clouds with the sun comin' up:
We kept a close eye on the clouds, but they never moved higher than about 11K and eventually cleared.
The approach wasn't bad at all. We'd received some beta the day prior that the proper ridge route wasn't connected by snow any longer, so we opted for the south traverse onto the Wintun. Then up, up, and away.
Thank you Mr. or Mrs. boot pack maker. You made our lives easier.
Mark pushing up the stairway to heaven:
We reached the summit a little after 10am. Not record setting pace, but hey Ã¢â‚¬â€œ we made it and had some energy to enjoy the ride down.
The summit rocks!
We hung out for about 30 minutes to allow the slopes to properly ripen. I enjoyed a conversation with a guide from Jackson Hole and his 70 year old client who had summitted minutes ahead of us! Pretty sweet. Mr. 70 made some nice turns down the same route as us. Impressive.
While I was geeking out on Mr. 70, Mark was chatting up a couple female climbers on the summit. Carrie and Andrea were from Seattle. One on skis and one on a split. They came up from Clear Creek. Sounded like a lot of scree scrambling and less than ideal conditions. I gave Mark a hard time for trying to make a love connection on the summit. He claims he was just being Mr. nice guy.
Once the bar antics were over, and the corn ripened, we dropped in. Now let me say this, all you guys that snap a million ride shots Ã¢â‚¬â€œ impressive. We honestly had every intention of this, but somewhere between that first turn and 50, it just didn't happen. I think the big smile on my face was getting in the way. Anyway, we pulled out the camera for a few ride shots down lower.
Me Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Flaps up!
Mark pointin' it:
Tryin' so hard for the hand dragÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
We got back to our base camp, packed up the gear, and headed on down. The ride from about 10K to around 8.5K was surprisingly fun Ã¢â‚¬â€œ even though it was later in the day and we had the heavier packs. Once we got down to the flats, things changed. The evil sun cups appeared. We did our best to get as far down as we could, but as the sun cups got bigger so did the quad burn and the dirt patches. We gave up with about 500 vert to go. After a bit of bushwhacking we were back to the car.
Mark Ã¢â‚¬â€œ happy to be changed and ready for the Black Bear!
All in all, it was another great trip. Hard to believe it was the 4th of July weekend. We'll be back next year!