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| | |-+  May 28th, 2010, Mt Shasta, Funshine HEAPS OF SNOW!
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Author Topic: May 28th, 2010, Mt Shasta, Funshine HEAPS OF SNOW!  (Read 2862 times)
blitz
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May 28th, 2010, Mt Shasta, Funshine HEAPS OF SNOW!
« on: 06/02/10, 07:44 AM »

First, I want to remember all those military men and women we have lost, and thank them and their families for their sacrifices, and hope for speedy return of our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. Don’t forget to vote!

Friday, May 28th left Tacoma at 6:30am with ski friend Kurt. We decided not to join CBSP trip to Harts Pass because of glum weather forecast.  Arrived in little town of Shasta, CA 3pm to get summit pass at forest ranger station ($20 - they close at 4pm).

Headed out from Bunny Flats Trail Head at 6K+ at 6pm (they still have 12 feet of snow at the parking lot, snowpack is at 140% right now according to rangers). Got to "Horse Camp" at ~7pm - a camp near the tree line, managed by the Sierra Club, no water right now, but there is a composting toilet, pay $5 per tent to stay there - nice latrine - benches.

The next morning May 29th, we headed out up Avalanche Gulch to the Helen Lake high camp 10k+.  After we dug a pit to stay out of blowing winds (gusts were nearly knocking us over as we skinned to camp) the wind stopped and it was SUNNY and HOT in the camping pit. We donned our skis again - this time in Tshirts, and skinned 1000ft up the Avalanche Gulch to set track for next morning (it was cooler once out of Helen Lake, and the snow on bluffs overhead was not melting). We were one of the earlier parties at Helen Lake, there were at least 100 people there by night fall, a nice polite bunch.

The following am, May 30th, we were woken by departing parties - the first was at 1:30. We went back to sleep and finally hit the train at ~4am. It was calm and clear and cold until we got to Red Bluffs. Then on Misery Hill the winds picked up as sun had come up. More clenching against winds - I got knocked over a couple times but didn't loose any elevation. We stayed on skins and ski crampons all the way to the base of the final summit pinnacle. We stayed climbers right of Misery Hill as there was snow for skinning on the leeward side.

When we climbed the final pinnacle in ski boots, the sun came out, the wind stopped and the temps rose to 40s or 50s. Got some pictures and got out of there.

Back to Helen Lake by 11am, we rested a little but finally decided the sun was too much to stay another day (did I tell you it was REALLY SUNNY!!!) We were back in car and driving by 4pm. We bivied at friends house in Independence OR and was back home by about 3pm Monday May 31st.

A really great weekend, nice skiing, most importantly NICE SUNNY WEATHER!!!

I will add photos later!
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alisa
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Re: May 28th, 2010, Mt Shasta, Funshine HEAPS OF SNOW!
« Reply #1 on: 06/02/10, 09:22 AM »

Nice Alisa!  I didn't know y'all were heading down there.  Sounds like you had good conditions.
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Feck
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Re: May 28th, 2010, Mt Shasta, Funshine HEAPS OF SNOW!
« Reply #2 on: 06/02/10, 01:20 PM »

It wasn't our first choice, but ended up being a cool thing to do.  I'd never skied in Cali before.
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telemack
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Re: May 28th, 2010, Mt Shasta, Funshine HEAPS OF SNOW!
« Reply #3 on: 06/02/10, 09:16 PM »

Nice work getting through the winds and summiting!  I'm glad to know that there is plenty of snow down there; should still be good at the end of the month, eh?
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There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.
George Santayana
blitz
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Re: May 28th, 2010, Mt Shasta, Funshine HEAPS OF SNOW!
« Reply #4 on: 06/03/10, 07:36 AM »

Unless they get a lot of rain you should be OK. The shasta forest office will be able to tell you how much snow is as bunny flats before you decide to make the trip. There might be a better trail head to start from later in the month too.

The forest ranger and a guide from mammoth lakes both said that ussually there is not enough snow to skin up Misery Hill.

If you get early start you should be able to do the whole thing from Horse Camp with out the overnight at Lake Helen. One guy I talked to did the whole thing from the car in a day, burley! We slept late at horse camp and the big headwinds slowed our climbing efforts.  It was my time above 12k so the leisurely pace was in order.
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alisa
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Re: May 28th, 2010, Mt Shasta, Funshine HEAPS OF SNOW!
« Reply #5 on: 06/03/10, 10:06 AM »

Awesome Alisa and Kurt! Sounds like a funtastic time!

I went looking for Mark in the teneaway and built a giant igloo on longs pass.
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scott
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Re: May 28th, 2010, Mt Shasta, Funshine HEAPS OF SNOW!
« Reply #6 on: 06/03/10, 01:24 PM »

Nice work. I've been on Shasta twice...no summit. There are other good ski routes on the peak as things get too hot and melty on the avalanche gulch route. Can't remember the names, but they are around to the E and N sides. They are WAY less crowded. Sounds almost as crowded as Tuckerman Ravine up there!
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Mark Langley
Cascade Backcountry Ski Patrol
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blitz
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Re: May 28th, 2010, Mt Shasta, Funshine HEAPS OF SNOW!
« Reply #7 on: 06/03/10, 03:12 PM »

Kurt took some good pics of the tent city at Helen Lake, it was huge! 

There were a ton of people up there but not as many as Muir two weeks ago.
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alisa
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Re: May 28th, 2010, Mt Shasta, Funshine HEAPS OF SNOW!
« Reply #8 on: 06/03/10, 05:23 PM »

Alisa,  Nice TR.  OK, where are the photos ?   I'm pleased to hear about the snow pack at Bunny Flats.  Years ago, Brent Hostetler and I did a Memorial Day ski/climb of Shasta.  We camped at Lake Helen and it was amazing the number of tents.  When we departed in the morning for the climb, I was shocked when I looked down at Tent City at Lake Helen.  Not a wilderness experience but an enjoyable outing. And it was SUNNY.  Wink
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Feck
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Re: May 28th, 2010, Mt Shasta, Funshine HEAPS OF SNOW!
« Reply #9 on: 06/03/10, 07:28 PM »

I'm waiting for Alisa's pictures too  Cry

I don't post here often lets see if I can add some

View of Helen Lake Camp on 5/29/2010


Skiing up 5/30/2010


Summit 5/30/2010


Sun and Skis 5/30/2010


Looking Down Upper Avalanche Gully 5/30/2010
« Last Edit: 06/03/10, 07:32 PM by Feck » Logged
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