Ascent of Mount Shasta on 2014-06-01

Climber: Tomoko Nakajima

Others in Party:Solo Hike
Date:Sunday, June 1, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Shasta
    Elevation:14162 ft / 4316 m

Ascent Trip Report

I had been waiting for nice weather (not too strong wind or gust wind) for over 2-3 months in early 2014. Finally, NOAA weather forecast web page shows that the weekend of 5/31-6/1 would be nice weather. On 5/30(Friday) morning, I called Mt Shasta Ranger Station and talked about the weather forecast on weekend. Ranger told me it would be nicer weather. Wind prediction is 10-15mph which is very rarely calm at Mt Shasta. I had been searching for hiking friends, but, I couldn't find it. Although my boyfriend disagreed that I do solo backpacking trip, I didn't want to miss this good weather chance.
Also, snow has been melting a lot this year earlier in the season. So if I wait for long, I will miss the chance to hike in snow.
So I decided to do solo backpacking. Friday 7PM, I left office in Cupertino and drove my car all the way to Shasta. I only stopped over one spot somewhere on Rt5 to add gas and purchased sandwich for dinner and tomorrow mooring breakfast. I arrived at Bunny Flat Trailhead at 12:20am on Sat midnight. I took out sleeping bag and slept in the car seat.
Sat morning, I woke up 7AM, started to pack my gear and paid permits, picked up poop bag and started to hike at 8:15AM. Soon after, I met 4 hiking guys as a group. I passed them after greeting. I kept very good pace by alone and arrived at Lake Helen before noon time. I took a rest 5 min after finding out perfect spot for my Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 tent. And I started to set up tent.
About 1.5 hours later these 4 guys group arrived and they started to set up their tent next to my tent. Another next tent space was kept open for a long time. But in the late evening, 2 guys came and asked if they can set up tent. I said no problem. We talked a lot between neighbor tent folks until we tried to sleep around 8PM. I was planning to wake up 4AM and leave campsite at 5AM to start summiting hike. At 1AM on Sunday midnight, 2 guys tent next of my tent started to talk between them. Their voices were so loud and it made me to wake up. I told them to quietly talk because it's midnight and I can't go back to sleep. I don't know why but they didn't stop talking. Eventually, they started to wrap up the tent and left campsite at 2:20am. I wasn't really sure they wanted to hike in or hike out at midnight. Unfortunately, I couldn't sleep anymore, decided to wake up at 2:40am, ate breakfast and hot Miso soup. Then, started to hike in around 3:30AM by alone. Several folks already started to hike in which I could see a couple of headlamps on the slope. I was turning on GPS and try to decided which direction I'm going to hike in. The first I need to go up big slope up to Red bunks. Then, I'll need to choose 1 of 3 chutes to go over Red Bunks. Ranger told me furthest left chute is most steep. Furthest right chute is less steep. I was thinking I can decide when I get there.

I took more than one hour to reach to 3 chutes area in front of Red Bunks. Maybe, 2 hours? Unless I check my GPS data, I don't remember how long it took for me to get there.
I passed several hikers and only 2 folks were in front of me (girl and guy). They went up on the furthest left chute (Steepest one). So I decided to go there, too. It was really steep and I had to use axe to hold me to go up on steep slope on the chute. I passed this section safely and started to hike-in more. After passing chute, I remember I started to see sun rise further away. Eventually, I reached to the base of misery hill. Those 2 ppl are sitting and eating something and taking a rest. I passed them.
On Misery Hill, half of area, snow is gone already. In order to go on the shortest distance (straight up), I decided to take off crampons and walk on slabs and rocks. After reaching to Misery Hill top, I had to put back on crampons. Kept hiking in. I felt summit area of Shasta is still far away but started to be able to see summit itself finally.

I again felt the distance I hiked in from Misery Hill top to base of summit climbing is really loooong.
Once I reached to the summit climbing area, I had to find out where I can go up to the summit as I don't know how ppl generally go up. Soon after, I find the packed trail which ppl made over months in winter. I could see snow is really firm and trail go backside of summit bulk of rocks. I followed that man-made path to reach to the summit. I think I arrived to the summit at 8:15am or so.

After viewing spectacular views, I hiked out to campsite and came back there before noon time. I did some glissades to come down after passing chute of Red Bunks.
I took 10min break, then, I started to wrap up tent, then, started to hike out around 12:30pm.
I returned to the trailhead 2:20pm. I was a bit tired but I could drive back to home safely. I took 20min break somewhere on Rt5 to take a rest. Other than that, I kept driving.... When I came back to my home in Bay Area, it was after 8PM. the way, I never met these 2 guys who left campsite at 2:20AM. So they must be hiked out instead of summit attempt.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:7762 ft / 2365 m
    Trailhead:Bunny Flat TH  6400 ft / 1950 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear

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