Friday, November 30, 2012

Shasta Overdue

Mt. Shasta in Northern California has been on my todo list since middle school. My dad and I tried to plan a trip several times. Either I was freaked out about missing more than one day of training for cross-country season or my mom was freaked out because of the "crevasses" that were going to kill me.
Shasta from the North
At 14,179 ft Shasta is the 5th highest mountain in California, the second highest in the Cascade Range and the only significantly glaciated peak in California. It was the first objective on my todo list. It was on my todo list before the todo list even existed. It was almost inexcusable that I had not climbed it yet. 
Hotlum-Wintun Ridge
So after bagging Matterhorn Peak in the High Sierra, and spending Fourth of July at Lake Tahoe drinking beer and eating lots of food, I drove north to meet my buddy Mike at the base of this long awaited mountain. We had decided to climb the Hotlum-Wintun Ridge, an easy route on the remote east side of the peak to avoid the crowds of the south side. We were supposed to meet at the trail head parking lot and it ended up being a long drive in on dirt roads. We took two days and climbed at a pretty relaxed pace. It was fairly simple and I ended up picking a particularly steep line up the final headwall... just to try out this whole front-pointing, ice-axe swinging thing.
Sunrise on Hot-tun Ridge
Heading up to the summit
Back at the car we had some Ichthyosaur Pale Ale and then drove back home to Bend for burgers and more beer. Shasta was conquered, my only regret was that I hadn't skied down it, yet.

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