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| | |-+  May 24, 2009 Mt Shasta West Face
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Author Topic: May 24, 2009 Mt Shasta West Face  (Read 2004 times)
Daniel_G
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Posts: 50


May 24, 2009 Mt Shasta West Face
« on: 05/26/09, 11:32 PM »

From I-5 Shasta looms large. First impression: whoa--we're goin' up that? Still, after nine hours in the car, might as well ride up to the parking lot...
Although the trip had been scheduled for months, the 4 of us had committed only the week before and planning consisted of throwing everything but the porta-ledge in the duffel and agreeing to meet at 65th at 630. I confess, I did peek at Amar Andalkar's mighty fine website . Point of order: West face didn’t feel totally double diamond-y—  this from someone who gets nervous doing the snowplow  on Golden Nugget when it’s a little scrappy. Thanks Amar, I feel like a total snow stud now!
For whatever half-assed reason bereft of common sense and a realistic appraisal of our fitness and acclimatization, we elected to ascend Avy Gully via Horse Camp and descend West Face.  First day we skinned up and “practiced” on Sergeant Ridge. Watered up at the famous Alpine lodge and paid a visit to the fun and slightly crazy Yoga Lady who was collecting for Sierra Club.  In the sacks by 6:30, The far side of the second hour of the new morn found us skinning the low angle crust to Helen Lake, donning crampons and packing skis not until but just shy of a couple of hundred feet below the camp. There, we joined 600 of our (admittedly wiser) new best friends for the ant march to the top of the hill. My inner monologue on the slog was overly puffy. Two in our party had both bailed, leaving the Monster and me to the powder and the glory. “I’m gonna bag this baby!” I crowed inwardly below 12k. Alas. Vanity, all is vanity. By 12.8 I was whimpering like a baby.  “Down,” I mewled, I have to go down!” The bottleneck below wasn’t really suited to it however and I wasn’t all that excited about transitioning on that icy crust. Upward and overward was the only way out. I tried to sneer as I walked under Misery Hill. We don’t need no stinkin’ summits! The Monster wasn’t all that into it either, although he did make at least one feeble plea. West Face was in shape and calling our names. Probably should have sucked it up and tagged that thing. It’s a long way away. Oh well.
The drop in was a tad icy, but we managed to avoid the 800 foot slide onto Whitney Glacier and then—Shazbot! We are skiing our asses off! What a ride! 13400  to 9200 of uninterrupted 35 degree pitch back down into the thick air. Nice steep little chute at the bottom too! From Hidden Valley, we looked back up at the entire length of the run. Even with stops for lots of pictures and panting, about 50 minutes down was all it took. Consolation prize was dinner in Ashland. Fine town, Ashland.


http://picasaweb.google.com/dangreenfield3/20090525MtShasta?authkey=Gv1sRgCNqOv8Om4Y7ATQ&feat=directlink



 


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* Mt_Shasta_046.jpg (34.21 KB, 640x480 - viewed 502 times.)

* DSCN0718.jpg (22.74 KB, 640x480 - viewed 478 times.)
« Last Edit: 05/27/09, 06:55 AM by Daniel_G » Logged
Lisa
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Re: May 24, 2009 Mt Shasta West Face
« Reply #1 on: 05/27/09, 10:47 AM »

Glad you guys made the trip Dan, it seems to be the place to hit this year. 
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Daniel_G
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Posts: 50


Re: May 24, 2009 Mt Shasta West Face
« Reply #2 on: 05/27/09, 12:44 PM »

the west face is supposed to be one of the classic cascade runs and with good reason. reminds me a bit of the sw chutes on adams only not quite as steep and a bit longer maybe.
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