Ascent of Mount Shasta on 2003-07-20

Climber: Brian Jenkins

Others in Party:2003- Steve Harrison
2015- Solo
Date:Sunday, July 20, 2003
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Shasta
    Elevation:14162 ft / 4316 m

Ascent Trip Report

7/20/03 Drove down with my buddy Steve from Seattle early Saturday morning. Started hiking up about 12:30 pm and got to Helen Lake about 5:15pm after taking about an hours worth of rests on the way up. Great weather so far. Set up camp and talked to the ranger who said a thunderstorm was rolling in the following day and suggested an early start. So, we started climbing about 3:30 am and enjoyed the low angle snow slopes below the Heart.

A climber in front of us dropped a crampon and while he was putting that back on, Steve went left and I went right. He headed up the couloir most were going through and I headed to the right edge of the Red Banks and traversed around the back side onto the glacier before rejoining the hike up to the base of Misery Hill. And what a misery it is, loose scree in hot sun by then. Steve looked at me at one point and said "It sure is good I like this $hit." Slow going took us to the icefield before the summit pinnacles. Quick rest below the final rock and we were up taking summit pictures with no storm in sight.

The glissade down made the trip for me. What took us 3-4 hours in the morning only took us 20 minutes and we were back at Lake Helen. 3000 feet on our butts with snow flying out from the bobsled-like tunnels. Super fun. Broke camp and were back at the car by 2:30 pm on Sunday. Burgers at the Hi-Lo Cafe in Weed on the way home!

7/18/15 Avalanche Gulch again as a final training run for a bigger trip coming up. Much less snow that 12 years ago. Hiked up to Helen Lake in about 3.5 hours. Got maybe an hour or so of sleep. Up at 2 am, going by 3 am. Hooked up with 4 other guys from camp for most of the time. Line went right of the Heart and then into one of the chimneys in the Red Banks where it was steeper and icy. Didn't want to fall there. Then it was just fighting altitude to the top from there. No more penitentes in the snowfield above Misery Hill. Quick break at the summit and then back down where it was bogged down back down the chute in the Red Banks. Snow was softer though and you could almost get a decent foot into to. Not much snow to glissade this year. Did a little bit though. About 6.5 hours up from camp and then back down in about 3 to camp. Back to car in another 2.25. Then a long drive back to Portland.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Ski Poles

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