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Winston

Mt. Shasta via Avalanche Gulch Aug 11, 2010

Climbed Mt. Shasta via Avalanche Gulch earlier this week. This was actually my second attempt. I tried earlier in May, but I arrived a couple days after a big snowstorm and was constantly postholing up to my knees after I got above 9000'. On my first attempt, I aborted just above Helen Lake, about halfway through the climb.

Avalanche Gulch in May.


Lots of the snow had melted by the time I could make my second attempt in August, so it wasn't as pretty as before.

Avalanche Gulch in August.


Still, I was on snow for most of the route, maybe from about 8500' to about 14,000'. Portions of the summit plateau and summit pinnacle were blown or melted free of snow. There was a really stinky sulfur hot spring on the summit plateau at around 14,000' right next to the summit pinnacle.

Roundtrip was only 12 miles, but it was very steep. Gained at least 7200 feet in elevation over the course of 6 miles, going from 6900' at Bunny Flats to 14,162' at the summit. Took 16 hours, car to car, which was a couple more hours than I was expecting. The thin air at altitude and being a bit out of shape made for a very long and difficult day.

Here's a pic I took from the summit. You can see the summit plateau, the top of Misery Hill, and the bergschrund of the Whitney Glacier.


Pics from May attempt.

Pics from August attempt.

nice job Winston!

hey that hot spring looks nice, you should have taken a dip in it!
Winston

Unfortunately, the spring I saw was more like a puddle.  Also wasn't sure if it was acidic from all the sulfur gas bubbling through it.  But supposedly, John Muir got stranded at the top during a snowstorm and had to lie overnight in one of these puddles to keep from freezing.
jimbozoom

What time did you leave on your car to car Shasta climb?  Was there any rock fall in the Red Banks?
Winston

Left the car around 3:30am.  Got past the Red Banks around 12pm-12:30.  There were some small rocks/pebbles that rolled down the glissading chutes, but they stayed low and just bounced on by or hit my boots without doing anything.

I saw and heard some larger rock falls to the left from Casaval Ridge, but the rocks didn't come near me.  The approach to the Red Banks goes up the right side of the gulch.  I think the snow was softening by then, especially on the left side of the gulch which is exposed to the sun first, so the rocks didn't travel far.
tinaballina

Winston, you did it.....yay and congrats to you.
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