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+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2006 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  June 2006 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  June 23 – 24, Mt Shasta, West Face
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Author Topic: June 23 – 24, Mt Shasta, West Face  (Read 3616 times)
Jeff Huber

Posts: 771

June 23 – 24, Mt Shasta, West Face
« on: 06/26/06, 12:54 AM »

On Friday morning the 23rd I met up with Jonathan, Ben, and Rusty at Bunny Flat to make a camp in Hidden Valley and ski from there. I would only stay till the 24th, while the rest of the gang would stay till the 25th. I had hoped we could ski the SE snow finger of Shastina on the 23rd, but insufficient time precluded us from doing that. Instead, after making camp at HV Jonathan and I skinned up Cascade Gulch to the Shasta/Shastina col and then down from there.

The next morning we climbed up the West Face to the summit of Shasta. Along the way we met a very friendly splitboard who was also named John. John was from Seattle. I asked him if he posted on TAY and he told us that he didn’t but his friend Eric (snoslut!!), who was right behind us, did. John was fun to talk to and broke up the monotony of the march up the face.  Above the face Jonathan donned skins and ski crampons for Misery Hill while I continued marching towards the summit. I think skinning is the way to go here; I regret not having done so

We skied down the west side of the summit pinnacle which was rimey, crusty, wind-eroded, and quite fascinating to ski. We then schussed across the plateau and descended down the east face of Misery Hill, which had good snow compared to the other sides of Misery Hill. We then cut right to the entrance of the WF. We descended down the WF at 12:45. The top 1/5 was a bit on the firm side, but the rest was mostly perfecto.

Right when the snow started to get really good, I met up with Ben and Rusty while Jonathan continued down. We cut skiers left on a snow finger to the gulley next to the WF which was perfectly smooth and had some of the best snow of the trip. Back at camp I met TAY celebrity snoslut (it was sweet to meet you Eric!) and then headed back to Bunny Flat.

The West Face from Hidden Valley:

Rusy in the good snow:


I had a wonderful 6 days on the volcano. If you wish to see more Shasta photos from this trip, I have posted a plethora of them in the current Shasta thread on TTips.
« Last Edit: 06/26/06, 11:03 AM by Jeff Huber » Logged


Posts: 622

Re: June 23 – 24, Mt Shasta, West Face
« Reply #1 on: 07/07/06, 03:54 PM »

Back at camp I met TAY celebrity snoslut (it was sweet to meet you Eric!) and then headed back to Bunny Flat.
Picking up the story where Jeff left off:
Once Jeff was about to leave, I casually yo-yo’ed that a nearby hill again.  Was shocked to see skiers still descending from up high at almost 4:00 - significant wet slide risk by then.  Was even more shocked to see the guided climbing party finally reaching camp at almost 4:00.  (Ben talked with one climber who said a wet slide had partially buried another climber, who had lost an ice axe in the incident.  Ben also noticed that one of their “guides” - loosely construed, as their sole compelling credential is a government-granted monopoly, as opposed to actual, say, guide certification - was the same person who had admonished him two days earlier for skiing above Helen Lake on nontechnical terrain in the early afternoon.)  Was still more shocked to see another climber finally descend into Hidden Valley around 5:00 . . . and then have to climb up a ~200' steep face to reach his camp (as they had come in somewhat off course the previous evening).  Was no longer capable of shock at almost 7:00 when I realized that the rock near the base of the West Face sliding in an odd diagonal direction and the rock impossibly sliding horizontally were actually climbers who were . . . doing . . . ?  They then ascended to a fairly high point on Casaval Ridge. 
Still more surprising was the most memorable line of the trip, from a conversation at our camp in Hidden Valley in the afternoon after skiing:
Random Snowboarder: "and getting started so early this morning was kind of tough after we were so wasted last night."
Ben: "You guys were drinking up here?"
Random Snowboarder: "Dude, with all this awesome scenery, how could you *NOT*?!?"

Day Four
We wanted to leave camp relatively early as our exit entailed a brief traverse on a steep face that could pose wet slide danger later in the day.  So skinned up very early to the base of Shastina, which had two remaining long lines.  The one to the left was the more enticing, but it was still going to be way too firm at an early hour.  The one to the right received sun earlier, and ended up being skiable, although still not quite perfect.  Snow below was better.  After traversing out from below camp, we played connect-the-patches (Ben definitely one that game, while I led Rusty into numerous dead ends) to reach Horse Camp, then skied out on nearly green snow from pollen for the runout. 

The ensuing return to reality was especially harsh.  Temps hit 110 in the central valley, and we had to turn off the car’s AC periodically to prevent engine overheating.  I started off Monday morning at 6:15 with a three-hour conference call, then ran around San Francisco for a business presentation, business meeting, and assorted business via phone and email.  Tuesday morning started off at 5:00 for the flight home, with the ensuing connection delayed three hours.  This left me a little over nine hours at home to: partially unpack, sleep, eat, change, repack for possible overnight, assemble materials for a discovery request, and otherwise get ready for the drive to the outskirts of NYC for a deposition . . . which lasted all of Wednesday, then all of Thursday, to be continued onto some other day TBD.  The only saving graces were that I was being paid by the hour, I got to stay over with a nearby friend on Thursday night, and I managed to put the following on the court reporter’s transcript:
Attorney: “You keep saying you can’t remember the exact days early last week on which you wrote and transmitted certain parts of your expert opinion report, especially because other events since then have been more memorable - what you have been doing that has been so memorable?”
Me: “Ski mountaineering on Mt Shasta.”
Attorney: “What’s ski mountaineering?”
Me: “It’s when you climb up a mountain and then ski down it.”
Unfortunately he did not explore that line of questioning . . . although he did go into great detail on the Shefftz-Shapiro extended family dispute from three decades ago regarding the defunct Puerto Rican mattress spring company.  (Never thought anyone would ever pay me to ramble on about that!)

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