Thursday, June 04, 2009

Mount Shasta III

On memorial day weekend we headed back north for the now biennal Mount Shasta Extreme expedition. I have done this in 2005 and 2007, but this year really was the charm. Everyone made it to the top, including first-timer Misha, and the skiing conditions were absolutely fantastic. After spending the night in Weed, and picking up our permits at the ranger station on Saturday we left for the Brewer Creek Trailhead. We made it within 6 miles of the trailhead, where a single but unpassable patch of snow cut off the road. We reached our bivy site (10,400 ft; 3,200m) in the early afternoon, and as you can tell from this picture, hauling up our gear had taken its toll on some members of our party. A short thunderstorm with hail coming down hard got us worried for a few minutes (we had only brought a single 2-person tent), but this would be the last mountain weather we would see on the trip. The next morning, no wind, warm temperatures and our positive attitudes made for a very pleasant ascent, and a perfect spring skiing on the way down the Hotlum-Wintun route. Our snowboarding friend wasn't too much of a hassle, except for being a snowboarder of course ("Hold on just a sec, I need to loosen this, tighten that, readjust blah and change the geometry of blue"). You've got to think that snowboarding gear is in its developmental infancy, nothing really seems to "just work". Hat's off to Misha in any case for making it up there on his first try!
A bunch more pics from the climb, mostly courtesy of Goeric. I took a few videos and I'll post them sometime, maybe (actually I am just counting on Goeric to whip together an edited version - update: here it is - a very large video). Us at the top of the world:

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