Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Shasta Conditions - spring 2014

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Shasta Conditions - spring 2014

    It's going to be a short Shasta season. What's the word on conditions? Just drove by on April 12th. Everything looked good for the moment. Diller Canyon was half gone, but still had snow down low. Avalanche Gulch and West Face looked awesome. Here's a photo tease to get things started.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	shasta-nw-side_15x.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	54.7 KB
ID:	89357

    ain't no turn like tele!

  • #2
    According to these know-it-alls http://shastaavalanche.org/advisories/climbing-advisory

    North Gate trailhead is open. Brewer Creek is drivable to 5 miles to the TH. Clear Creek is 2.4 miles to the TH. (always wanted to check out that route).

    Reports?

    Comment


    • #3
      A friend who rode Avalanche Gulch Saturday reported (paraphrasing):

      Rode off just below the summit block on rim ice, and then dropped onto the upper portion of the Konwakiton Glacier to avoid the sastrugi on Misery Hill . . . windboard and ice to the Red Banks chutes, then rode down one of the chutes (highlight of the trip) and into the huge bowl above Helen Lake. From Helen to the car was some of the best corn snow I have skied in a long time

      Comment


      • #4
        Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0024.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	158.2 KB
ID:	81574
        Good refreeze Sunday morning. Windy up high, which made corn slow to ripen.
        We only went to 10K then skied some just ripe corn from there back to the car.

        Mrs. Upslope.
        Click image for larger version

Name:	test.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	217.8 KB
ID:	81575

        Me doing the chicken wing.
        Click image for larger version

Name:	bagawk.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	111.6 KB
ID:	81576

        Conditions were good all the way down into the trees.

        Comment


        • #5
          Conditions were pretty crazy yesterday which is probably to say they were normal. Super high winds above 12k and hot and mushy down low. Still a little continuous snow down to Bunny Flats but I doubt it will be there long.

          Click image for larger version

Name:	IMAG0278.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	105.9 KB
ID:	81737
          Last edited by Matt J; 4 May 2014, 11:44 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Avy Center webpage says that Brewer Creek is drivable to the 'washout' are 1.2 miles from the trailhead. I'm stuck with work for a couple of more weeks. Anyone interested in a little campout the last week in May/first week in June?

            Comment


            • #7
              Hey guys, i need some advice.

              I am planning to climb up this thursday, this is my first time climbing shasta and I have following questions. I have previous snow climbing experience, I've done Teton and Kirkwood backcountry.

              1) Do I wear ski boots trying to climb up? This really looks like a lot of work with ski boots considering how stiff it is, and also the skiis, they are pretty heavy, that will pretty much jack up my weight to almost 60 to 70lbs.

              2) Camping at Lake Helen in 2014, I cant seem to find the snow condition for this, but according to the weather report it seems its well above 32 degrees, does that mean I can use a all season tent? or a snow tent is required.

              3) Let's say if I decide to climb with Ski Boots over Mountaineering boots, this is generally not walkable, is there some special hybrid boots?

              My general guts tells me to just go with mountaineering boots and glissade down, but that looks a lot more dangerous than skiing down since I am a better skier than glissader... I really want to get on top with my skiis but I also want to do it without adding too much weight and wearing the unwalkable boots.

              Any advice on what I should do?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Nyceane View Post
                1) Do I wear ski boots trying to climb up? This really looks like a lot of work with ski boots considering how stiff it is, and also the skiis, they are pretty heavy, that will pretty much jack up my weight to almost 60 to 70 lbs.
                Generally - yes - with crampons on the boots. Leave Bunny Flat at ~ 3 am. Put your head down and keep moving. Slow and steady. Small breaks to rehydrate and refuel. If you do it in one straight shot, no overnight camping, your probability of making the summit is higher because your pack need only be 20-30 pounds with enough food, water, and extra layers.

                Originally posted by Nyceane View Post
                2) Camping at Lake Helen in 2014, I cant seem to find the snow condition for this, but according to the weather report it seems its well above 32 degrees, does that mean I can use a all season tent? or a snow tent is required.
                If you camp at Lake Helen be prepared to have your butt kicked. This means extra gear, extra weight, extra energy, and camping at 10,000 feet which means you will NOT get a very good nights sleep, and you will NOT wake up early like you should and get moving because the altitude and the hike to get there are still kicking your a$$. If you do this, plan on a 3 day trip. Day 1 to get to Lake Helen, Day 2 to recover and do a short climb/ski, Day 3 to do the summit bid. Odds of a successful trip over 3 days drops by a third each day because you can't guarantee the weather 3 days out. You MIGHT be strong and sleep well and all that and do the summit and ski it well on Day 2. The odds are not in your favor though.

                If your ski boots are not comfortable enough to hike for 7 hours straight, either skinning, booting, or cramponing, you need different boots. If your skis are that heavy, either man up or get lighter gear.

                The other option is to do the one-day ascent/descent, but use the lightest mountaineering boots you can, carrying your skis and boots. Indeed it is heavy, but still lighter than carrying all the equipment you need to camp overnight AND your skis and boots.

                Option 3. Hire a guide and let them show you the ropes on Mt. Shasta. It means camping overnight and all, but you'll be sharing the load and be with a group with the same objective and probably learn things that will help you down the road.

                ain't no turn like tele!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Option 4 - rent gear

                  If you have a postal scale I'd put your boots and bindings on the scale and figure out how much they weigh. You can also step on a bathroom scale and then pick them up and subtract your weight from the total. If your gear is over 20 lbs. for boots bindings and skis then I'd consider a rental. The downside is that if they don't fit your feet well or they haven't been maintained properly the equipment could fail, but if you find a reputable shop and have a pretty "normal" foot this could be the best option.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Dostie's opinion is always worth considering. My experience is a little different.

                    Shasta was the first 14,000 ft peak I climbed. I was 52, not in great aerobic shape and in crampons for the first time in my life (we had a group of 7 and set up a lesson with one of the guide services as part of our first day). Nonetheless, we camped a little below Lake Helen and all 7 of us summited. The standard for guided trips appears to be at least one night on the mountain before a summit attempt, which tells you something about what works for most people.

                    I swore after that trip that I would never go back without skis (the friends we were with were not equipped to ski Shasta). With your backcountry experience, it sounds like you have and use skins. Ten days ago there was snow all the way to the parking at Bunny Flat (says a post above); that may not still be true but you could still have your skis on your feet most of the way to Lake Helen, rather than carrying them. You should be able to skin some ways above Lake Helen, and if you don't want to carry your skis after you give up skinning you can leave them behind while you go for the summit and pick them up on the way down. Skinning will be easier and faster than booting in any kind of boots on the way up, and skiing down will be easier, probably safer and faster (and drier) than glissading coming down. Unless you really hate snow climbing in ski boots, I would take skis and not take a second set of footwear--my impression is that plenty of people have gotten to the summit in ski boots.

                    Judge for yourself whether getting to the summit and back in one day will work for you. There's about 7300' of elevation difference between Bunny Flat and the summit, the air does get thin near the top and if you are susceptible to altitude sickness, there can be that to deal with, too.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Nyceane View Post
                      this is generally not walkable, is there some special hybrid boots?
                      Go rent an Alpine Touring setup from the Fifth Season mountain shop in Mount Shasta City and spend a couple days car camping and skinning/skiing the lower mountain and see if it changes your life. (The snow on Shasta is usually wind hammered at the top anyway. I have always found the best skiing is below 13000'.)
                      Have fun!

                      ...and never glissade with your crampons on...
                      Last edited by tony3; 13 May 2014, 09:15 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I agree. ^^^^

                        Originally posted by Nyceane View Post
                        My general guts tells me to just go with mountaineering boots and glissade down, but that looks a lot more dangerous than skiing down since I am a better skier than glissader...
                        Ignore your gut; if it can be skied, bring your skis.

                        Originally posted by Nyceane View Post
                        3) Let's say if I decide to climb with Ski Boots over Mountaineering boots, this is generally not walkable, is there some special hybrid boots?
                        What mountaineering boots and ski boots do you have? There are crazy light AT ski boots that are nearly (if not equally) as comfortable as plastic mountaineering boots.

                        Comment

                        Working...
                        X