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Author Topic: Shasta - Avy Gulch 5/15  (Read 805 times)
buell
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Shasta - Avy Gulch 5/15
« on: 05/16/09, 08:32 AM »

I got started at 2 am from the Bunny Flat parking lot.  A half moon was up, so once I cleared the trees, I did not need a headlamp which was really nice.  I made it to the top of Avy Gulch about 7:15 and to the summit about 9:45.  The snow was very firm all the way.  Once I reached the top of the Avy Gulch headwall, it was serious rime sculpture to the summit.

Riding down, it was heavy rime survival mode back to the top of Avy Gulch.  I had considered dropping one of the lines off Casaval, but I was pretty tired, solo, and it was my first trip to Shasta.  I ended up going back down the way I came up.  This meant riding down the rough and bullet proof Avy Gulch headwall until I was able to traverse over to the the more south facing slopes under Casaval.  Once there, the riding was really good.  It was great corn all the way to the very bottom of Avy Gulch where it got a bit sticky.  The moraines in Avy Gulch are not particularly steep, but they make for some very creative terrain.

Of note was the guy who did a slide for life right past me in the half moon light about 4:45 this morning.  I had caught up with a couple around Helen Lake and passed them.  Soon after, I decided it was time for crampons and axe.  They skinned past me while I was transitioning and I was very impressed with their ability to skin up a steeper bulletproof slope in the dark.  About 100 feet above me the guy goes down and silently slides right past me, going fast and spinning on his stomach, unable to stop.  He finally came to a stop 300 or 400 feet lower down and yells back up that he is okay.  I think they turned around though, because I never saw them again.  Scary!

Only about 15 people (including 2 in jeans and another who lost 80 pounds since January just to climb Shasta) made it to the summit, but as I was headed down, the hoardes were coming up for the weekend.  Just in time for another avy advisory!

Avy Gulch from below at about 12:30 pm


Summit from the top of Misery Hill


There were lots of slides on south facing slopes from last weekend.  Some off of lower Casaval were pretty big.  They were all below 10,000 feet and some were on pretty low angle slopes.  This smaller one on a roll over in the moraines crossed one of the climbing routes up Avy Gulch.

« Last Edit: 05/16/09, 09:29 AM by buell » Logged
telemack
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Re: Shasta - Avy Gulch 5/15
« Reply #1 on: 05/16/09, 08:55 AM »

Nice job, and sounds like a good ascent rate. 
We're going to Paradise tomorrow and I'm expecting it to be like skiing on pudding.
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There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.
George Santayana
buell
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Posts: 52


Re: Shasta - Avy Gulch 5/15
« Reply #2 on: 05/16/09, 09:57 AM »

Nice job, and sounds like a good ascent rate. 
We're going to Paradise tomorrow and I'm expecting it to be like skiing on pudding.

Nice.  Rebecca and I are going for closing day at Bachelor tomorrow and then expect to skin it on Monday.    I really want to ride the south facing slopes.  Luckily, Bachelor got hardly any snow this past week so it should be well consolidated.  Early starts! 
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