1998 Mt. Shasta (14,126') Day hike
This past weekend 6/28-6/29, Max Nachury, Rich Calliger,
and myself (Mike Rinaldi) took advantage of the absolutely glorious
weather to try a long strenous dayhike of Shasta. Our
route was the normal Avalanche Gulch route starting from the Bunny Flat
parking Lot. The original plan was to dayhike the route on Saturday
but personal business commitments of mine and the fact that the World Cup
second round game between Italy and Norway was being played
at 7AM on Saturday caused us to push the climb 24hrs.
As it turned out the weather was spectacular on both
days. We "camped" at the parking lot Saturday night and had
very marginal sleep because of the heavy climbing traffic. We were
up at 4AM and on the trail by 5:15AM. The air was still and temps seemed
to be hovering around the low 40's at 7000'. After about a mile Rich
decided to head back since this was his second day without much sleep and
he wasn't feeling very well. Max and myself continued on. The snow coverage
was complete from the get go at 7000'. At Horse Camp the snow coverage
looked to be 7-8'. There were steps down to the Hut entrance!
We were at Helen Lake by 7:45AM thanks to the consolidated
snow and convenient steps that the hoards had left.
We took a 20 minute break at Helen Lake while
Max chatted a bit with a fellow Frenchman. If you closed your eyes and
listened to the chatter you could convince yourself your were on the route
to Mt Blanc or Augille Du Midi in the Alps. We continued up the Gulch 2/3
of the way to the Red Banks. The snow was in good shape and we didn't
need crampons until this point. We were both feeling very well after
another 15 minute break at this point. After we put on crampons we
contnued up the Gulch and met wit a slight breeze at the top of the Red
I had forgotten about the short Hill before Misery
Hill and mistakengly thought that we were almost on top. When we
saw Misery Hill we were not happy hikers! It had been 2 years since
my first and last time I had been up Shasta and memory failed me.
Misery Hill was the most difficult part of the hike but we rewarded ourselves
with a 20 minute break at the top. As well as 5-6 fig bars and another
banana. Refueling with bananas seemed make a huge difference for
me on this trip. The potasium jolts from the bananas really seemed
to wake the tired legs.
After a final push we summited at 11:50AM.
The weather was superb.
There was even less wind then at the top of the Red
Banks!! After a few pictures we climbed down the Tower and had a 30 minute
lunch. We started down at about 1pm. The trip down was a glisading circus.
Max taught me the European standing glisade.
It's much like skiing without the ski's!! Between
standing and sitting glisades we managed to get back to Bunny Flat by
We gave each other very high fives for doing a very
enjoyable round trip in under 9 hours. This was Max's first time
to the summit after being turned back by high winds last year. This
was my second time up in 2 attempts. Judging from conversations I've
had with friends and trips reports I've read I've been extremely fortunate
in picking weekends with very good weather.
Back at Bunny Flat we changed clothes and relaxed
a bit. We found a note from Rich. He had wished us well and
checked into a Hotel at Shasta City. After two bad nights of sleep
he was going to get some real quality sleep and try for the summit on Monday
(yesterday). Best of luck Rich! The weather should cooperate.