Ascent of Mount Shasta on 2012-06-02

Climber: Shawn Burrell

Date:Saturday, June 2, 2012
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Peak:Mount Shasta
    Elevation:12850 ft / 3916 m

Ascent Trip Report

Friday June 1:
Arrived in Mount Shasta, went to the Fifth Season and headed up to Bunny Flat 6950'. John and I hiked around bunny flat for a few hours and Dan relaxed in the car.
The plan this time was to sleep in the parking lot a few hours and head straight up at 12 AM.

Saturday June 2:
After a very restless few hours in the parking lot it was 12AM. We got ready and headed out by 1.
Somewhere around 8 or 9 thousand feet dan had altitude sickness. I stayed with him and John kept going at a pretty good pace. By the time we were around 10,000' Dan had vomited 5 times. I suggested he turn around, but he insisted he would go to Helen Lake, another 400'

By the time we got to Helen lake it was turning to daylight, maybe 5 AM, I'm not sure. John was there and had been waiting a while for us and was feeling ill now as well. I was feeling the altitude, but felt that I could go further. Dan and John decided to go back down to Bunny Flat and I ate, drank and continued climbing.

Here is a video from when I took a break below Red Banks, probably around 12,000'

I continued on and when I got to Thumb Rock, the it was very windy and cold.. 50 MPH Winds at 12,900 ft.. I didn't have enough clothes to protect myself from the wind and felt it would be best to turn around after resting at least 30 minutes at Thumb Rock with a bunch of other people.

coming down from Thum rock it is very steep. Probably the steepest section it was here that one of the leather straps on the crampons that I was borrowing had broke. I had to fix on that slope and got leg cramps a couple of times while doing so. That sucked. It was too icy to glissade. so I had to hike down. I finally made it to Helen Lake. I took a quick break, ate and drank and pushed on. It took quite a while to get back to Bunny Flat and I was really trying to go as fast as I could as I knew my friends were just waiting there.

I think I was back to the car at Bunny Flat around noon.

I learned a lot on this trip.

1. Take more time. Get there at least a day early to acclimate.
2. Don't sleep in the parking lot, because you won't sleep.
3. Don't use old leather strap crampons, unless you don't mind repairing them on the mountain.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
From the bottom of Red Banks at Thumb Rock looking east (2012-06-02). Photo by Shawn Burrell.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:6150 ft / 1874 m
    Distance:10 mi / 16.1 km
    Route:Avalanche Gulch
    Trailhead:6700 ft / 2042 m
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Snow on Ground, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Snowshoes
    Weather:Cool, Very Windy, Partly Cloudy
50 MPH Winds at 12,000 ft.
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:8 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:4 Hours 30 Minutes

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