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Author Topic: June 4, 2005, Mt Shasta, West Face  (Read 4035 times)
Paul_Russell
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June 4, 2005, Mt Shasta, West Face
« on: 06/09/05, 03:32 PM »

After grumbling again over the latest local weather reports for our 3-day adventure, Monika and I decided to head South on Friday until we found sunshine thinking Hood or Shasta would be good options.  Kam was to have joined us, but unfortunately had a last minute work conflict.  As we drove through Portland with heavy overcast our decision was easy to keep going.  We found traffic to be light for the whole drive, making it easy going (note to self, good to go the weekend after a holiday).  As we neared the state border, we were now basking in California sunshine, yeah!  And soon had great views of Mt Shasta itself in the distance.  We arrived in the town of Shasta about 3:30pm and had a pleasant exchange of information at the local ranger station with encouraging words for conditions and weather with sun all day for Sat, low winds, and 11000' freezing level before a front expected to move in on Sunday.  And of course, the great coverage was evident from their fantastic snow year, 120% of norm.



Getting into Bunny flats by 5pm, we had plenty of time to setup car camp and then skin up for a short evening tour and nice 2000' run.  Coverage was great right from parking lot (at 7000').  We had debated earlier whether to do the standard Avalanche Gulch route, but quickly opted for the West Face once we had seen it on the drive into town -- less seldom done, and a fantastic 30+ degree face for over 3000'.  It looked awesome, somewhat reminiscent of the SW Chutes on Adams, although much broader and not quite as steep.  

After being awaken through the night by late arrivers, we departed the car by 5am.  Access to the West Face was very straightforward via Casaval Ridge which is a beautiful climbing option with impressive gendarmes.  We crossed over to the face at about 10,000' finding very firm snow conditions well suited to ski crampons.  It was so firm, we actually had some concerns whether it would soften for the descent.  We switched to boot crampons for the last 1000' as it steepened and arrived at the 13,000' col by around 10am shortly after the sun had broken across the face.  For the whole day, we encountered maybe 5 other parties on the route as compared with the dozens on the standard route just over the ridge.  Nice to have solitude.  

Soon we were trudging up Misery Hill, well named, for the final push to the summit by noon.  There we were greeted by a forest service ranger who politely handed out tickets to those without their wilderness and summit permits (fortunately, I had mine).  After the requiste pictures and summit socializing, we headed down and skied across icy, wind packed conditions back to the col above the W face where we hung out for about an hour in preparation for our decsent by about 2pm.  

To our delight, we found the face had softened into prime corn conditions for an awesome run down to about 11000' at which point with a wide grin, I suggested that was sooo good we should do it again.  Of course, Monika actually took me seriously and soon found myself following her back up to yo yo the slope for what turned out to be even slightly better conditions by the time we headed down.  As we traversed toward Casaval Ridge, we had 3 more runs on the face in consistently great corn.

We were back to the car by around 5:30 after a full day of great spring skiing (10,000 vft) in the glow of that California sunshine.  Go get it, its well worth the dirve!  We missed you Kam, and thanks Monika for another great trip.

Some more pics http://community.webshots.com/album/365551373BrmjJN?666
« Last Edit: 06/11/05, 11:13 AM by Paul_Russell » Logged
markharf
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Re: June 4, 2005, Mt Shasta, West Face
« Reply #1 on: 06/09/05, 03:53 PM »

10,000 vertical feet?  Wow.  Are those metric or American?
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Paul_Russell
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Re: June 4, 2005, Mt Shasta, West Face
« Reply #2 on: 06/09/05, 04:01 PM »

That's American.  Only on day like that one...
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kam
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Re: June 4, 2005, Mt Shasta, West Face
« Reply #3 on: 06/09/05, 04:20 PM »

Quote
...a full day of great spring skiing (10,000 vft) in the glow of that California sunshine.

lucky!!

great photos, by the way!!  thanks for sharing.
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What do you mean you didn't bring skis?
Robie
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Re: June 4, 2005, Mt Shasta, West Face
« Reply #4 on: 06/09/05, 04:32 PM »

Paul
what time did you leave Seattle  to get there by 330pm?
thanks for the report
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Paul_Russell
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Re: June 4, 2005, Mt Shasta, West Face
« Reply #5 on: 06/09/05, 04:45 PM »

We left around 6:30am and took at least a 30 minute lunch break and several shorter stops along the way.  The traffic was light and it seemed like an easy drive with the straight shot down I-5.  No problem doing it as a 3-day trip.  Nice scenery too from Eugene on.  If I had extra time, I would divert to the coast and drive back that way.  Longer, but would make for a fun trip.
« Last Edit: 06/09/05, 04:55 PM by Paul_Russell » Logged
allyson
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Re: June 4, 2005, Mt Shasta, West Face
« Reply #6 on: 06/09/05, 05:18 PM »

paul and monika--you guys are awesome!!  looks like you had a fantastic trip.  great photos too paul. Smiley way to fill up the weekend!
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snowshoe?? why would you??
Jeff Huber
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Re: June 4, 2005, Mt Shasta, West Face
« Reply #7 on: 06/09/05, 06:58 PM »

Excellent. I'm going to be there in a few days so thanks for the photos, and congrats on hitting the elusive quintuple digits on vft.
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120 Months (Last Updated: October 2013)
Monika
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Re: June 4, 2005, Mt Shasta, West Face
« Reply #8 on: 06/10/05, 01:53 AM »


Thanks Paul for the great photos from the trip.  That west face is an incredible ski.  Never yo-yo'd around 12000 before--I'm lucky I had you to get it twice with!

Quote
paul and monika--you guys are awesome!!  looks like you had a fantastic trip.  great photos too paul. Smiley way to fill up the weekend!


  thanks Allyson, missed you there! Cheesy
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ron j
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Re: June 4, 2005, Mt Shasta, West Face
« Reply #9 on: 06/10/05, 02:47 AM »

Wow - Paul and Monika - you guys rock.
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gregL
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Re: June 4, 2005, Mt Shasta, West Face
« Reply #10 on: 06/10/05, 03:49 AM »

Way to rack up the vert, Paul & Monika - you're animals!
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Mike_C
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Re: June 4, 2005, Mt Shasta, West Face
« Reply #11 on: 06/10/05, 04:11 AM »

wow.
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Joedabaker
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Re: June 4, 2005, Mt Shasta, West Face
« Reply #12 on: 06/10/05, 05:23 AM »

Quote
wow.

Double WOW!
Great job- that is a whopper of a day! You got the whole package!
Joe
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jdclimber
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Re: June 4, 2005, Mt Shasta, West Face
« Reply #13 on: 06/10/05, 05:50 AM »

F-ing amazing. Good work. Ever since the Frying Pan trip I have been figuring out how you guys can make your legs move that fast for more than one or two strides, let alone for a whole day as you keep doing.
I think you two are some of the few who actually do run out of mountain (hence the laps).  Grin
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Kenji
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Re: June 4, 2005, Mt Shasta, West Face
« Reply #14 on: 06/10/05, 06:51 AM »

Well done!!

You guys make me feel like I've retired from skiing, and been working fulltime Angry  Isn't it supposed be the other way around Huh
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