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| | |-+  June 24-26 Mt Shasta Bananza
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Author Topic: June 24-26 Mt Shasta Bananza  (Read 1819 times)
snoslut
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Posts: 431


June 24-26 Mt Shasta Bananza
« on: 06/27/06, 04:53 PM »

After last weekends outing in the North Cascades, I felt like a dog in submission, left licking my wounds with my tail between legs.  That was until Wednesday when the final decision was made to go to Shasta regardless.  I was in the mindset that Shasta is going to be a cakewalk compared to the thrashing endured just a few days earlier.  Time will soon tell.

Just like last weekend things started of at the Celtic Swell enjoying my libation of choice while watching a friend play a 4 hour acoustic set.  Her music and voice’s soothing sound lead my mind astray while I gazed at the colorful sunset on the longest day.  Last call came too soon and after a few hour nap I found myself driving south down I-5 to meet Lupo by 7am.

I dozed off most of the 8 hour drive until I woke to this...



Soon we were gathering groceries in Shasta.  I totally forgot that someone of age can by hard liquor at a Safeway equivalent grocery.  Then I remembered about the liquor barn in Redding.  I stuck with the crow, Old Crow that is.

After obtaining a $15 climbing permit (self issued at Bunny Flats) and poop bag we chatted with a climbing ranger about conditions.  Our eyes lit with anticipation.   We started skinning within 50 or so feet from the car.  There’s only one short carry between Bunny Flats and Horse Camp.  Within an hour John and I were setting up camp and preparing for pre-dinner run.  There’s still 8-10ft of snow around the cabin and the snow surface is littered with suncups.  At least the snow is soft when we started our run just after 8pm.



Back at camp we were treated to a light show as the sun made its exit, soon followed by the moon and an army of stars on this clear night.

Next morning we rose to beautiful blue skies and the persistent sounds of buzzing from the local insects.  SLAP!  Followed by another, another and another.  Damn bugs took their chance even after a soaking of bug juice.  My blood must be an efin hallucinogenic or something.  So the plan was to skin to Hidden Valley camp on Shasta’s west side, relax, and summit the next morning.  To get to the next camp we stayed low and did an ascending traverse to camp.  Since we did there was one short boot section.  If one stayed low enough past the second gully, one could skin the entire way.  Anyone Giddy Giddy?

Once the west face came into view, so did our line and the fact that the suncups weren’t as pronounced as they were in Avalanche Gulch.

While setting up camp I watched with excitement as skiers and a lone boarder descended.  If you look closely at the picture above you can see 2 dotswhich are the people in the pic below.

I couldn’t sit around and wait.  Lupo decided to chill with his ipod on the rocks while I went harvesting.  After an hour or so of skinning I found a nice rock to marinate on and watch the flood of climbers along with other slider types, make their way into camp.

Once 4:30 rolled around I started my run back down.  After some freeze dried chicken n rice, ramen n tuna and miso soup the food coma started to kick in.  Then just when I thought I had eaten enough our next door neighbor, 2 Shasta climbing guides Matt and Soul Train, offered all the pasta alfredo we could eat.  Hmmm.  I can’t pronounce her name without butchering it so I asked for a nickname.  She said it was “Soul Train”.  Her name is Norweigan and I had a hellaofa time saying it.  Brought back memories of my dad and I trying to get my mom to say “shit” and the dog sits.

After watching another amazing sunset and a few minutes later it was lights out by 10pm or so.  By 6am we were cramponing up the west face.  One could easily have slept in and skinned up in the soft snow but neither John nor I wanted to be climbing this pitch under the sun.  It turned out we didn't have a choice.

By 11 we had reached the saddle, dropped our splitboards off and were enroute to tag the summit.  An hour later I found myself on the summit of Shasta along with a slue of others.  One of which had a bottle of bubbly being passed around.  Well I’m not one for bogarting so I thru up my pint of Old Crow and proudly got a few takers along with a lot of lookyloos.  By 12:30 John and I were the only ones on the summit.

Soon we were making hiking down the summit block, down Misery Hill and back to the saddle for our reward.

Instead of descending down the gut as we witnessed the majority do, Lupo and I traversed high boarder’s right and found an untouched chute draining into Cascade Gulch and down to our camp.  The chute was a wide as a length of a football field and never seemed to end.



Before I could even snap some ride pics, Lupo was already a good thousand feet down, not looking back and sure as hell not gonna stop.  I put my camera away and soon found myself in a zen like state, free of any thoughts except the sounds of my edges rhythmically knifing thru butta.  Back at camp we packed our gear, rode back to the car and drove home.  Drowsiness was replaced by excitement and the occasional brail driving.

Btw I bumped into another TAY’er, Jeff Huber.  Was nice to have metcha!  Jeff summitted twice.  Once via Avi Gulch and West Face.  Damn!

Even saw the pirates we saw last year.  ARGGGGG!


Some Trip Quotes:
Eric: John I’m kinda tired.
John: Eric if you don’t make it to the summit your ass is walking home.

John: I have to shit so bad but its dark out and I can’t shit in the dark.

Eric: That’s a unique name.  I can’t even pronounce it so how can I remember it?  Do you go by a nickname?
Soul Train: Yeah some call me “Soul Train”.
Eric: Hmmm that can’t be good now can it or can it?
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You will know when Americas in trouble when the Mexicans stop coming...Carlos Mencia
lapaz25
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Posts: 171


Re: June 24-26 Mt Shasta Bananza
« Reply #1 on: 06/27/06, 05:16 PM »

HUGE congrats, Eric!!!

~L
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Skiing: When grit meets grace and power embraces passion.
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