2005.09.03

Mt Shasta California mountain I5 exit

The arrival.

Mt Shasta California mountain sunscreen

"Heh heh heh... if you freeze to death I'm so going to eat you."

Mt Shasta California mountain Ace Hardware farmers market

A few preparations: summit passes, gear, food. The mountain looks on.

Mt Shasta California mountain park

How better to acclimate to the thin Shastonian air than with some quality sporting?

Mt Shasta California mountain park kiteboard

Arthur unravels his kite. Not a kite kite, but a kiteboard kite. Way cooler.

Mt Shasta California mountain park kiteboard

There was enough wind for the kite, but not much else. The mountain beckons.

Mt Shasta California mountain park kiteboard deploy

Dave tries his hand at kiting. It didn't go so well for either of us.

Mt Shasta California mountain kiteboard tow

Wind is for suckers. We developed the Windless Carriage (patent pending).

Mt Shasta California mountain kiteboard tow

Arthur gives it a go...

Mt Shasta California mountain kiteboard kiteless

... and proceeds to exit the parking lot...

Mt Shasta California mountain kiteboard kiteless

... and starts rolling down the street into town. No one told him that Mt. Shasta was built on an incline.

Mt Shasta California mountain kiteboard hill street

He's all smiles before the realization of his inability to stop sets in.

Mt Shasta California mountain kiteboard tow

Long story short, Dave and I chase after him, let him smack into the back of the car and slow him gradually-ish. Then we tow him back to the park.

Mt Shasta California mountain Avalanche Gulch camp

Bunny Flat: the foot of Avalanche Gulch.


2005.09.04

Mt Shasta California mountain climb parking lot

Arthur secures his pack.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb parking lot group photo

So confident, so eager... so naive.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb trail

Dave shares a moment with nature.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb trail

The hike to Horse Camp afforded an excellent view of what was to come. The clouds conveniently masked the hard part.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb blisters trail

Arthur managed blisters a few hundred yards into the hike. After attending to them at the Horse Camp spring, he basically ignored the agony.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb The Causeway

Dave an Arthur catch their breath as the Causeway begins to ascend.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb climbers

Farther up, fatigue sets in. The entire day was a struggle with distance, height, and weight.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb view moraine climbers

The view from the second moraine was superb.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb snowline climbers

As the snowline and base camp approach, we take more and more breathers.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb tent camp

Base camp at last. We hastily pitch the tent and recover from the first leg.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb blister tent

That flap of skin would eventually be tugged down to the bottom of Arthur's heel.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb view weather climber

Daytime is cold and windy at altitude.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb weather tent Lake Helen

A cloud rolls in over the gulch. Lake Helen is vacant save for our tent and one other (not pictured). Seems the popular day to summit was the day we were ascending.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb tent camp Lake Helen

Lake Helen: rocks, snow, windbreaks.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb Lake Helen camp tent

The clouds hang ominously above our heroes.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb camping canned soup meal

Arthur and Dave eat like kings: canned soup, ravioli, and apple juice. A gold mine of heartiness.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb camping canned soup meal

David savors the last of his tin.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb Maxim magazine

David savors Kelly Monaco in the few minutes of down time at Lake Helen.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb weather storm rain valley

A rainstorm that started several valleys over reaches the adjacent valley. Luckily it travelled north around the mountain.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb view storm rain sunset Lake Helen

Arthur and Dave enjoy the fantastic sunset view from Lake Helen.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb rain weather sunset Lake Helen

Darkness falls and bed time approaches. The 3am journey to the summit will require much rest.


2005.09.05

Mt Shasta California mountain climb predawn crampon ice axe

Arthur gears up in the darkness.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb climber ice axe predawn

Dave led the upward effort with liberal axe usage.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb climber rest headlamp

We met the steepest part of the climb in the black of night.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb dawn glacier view climber Lake Helen

Dawn approaches the mountain as Arthur surmounts the glacier.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb shadow

It took us awhile to realize that the phantom peak on the horizon was the shadow of the mountain.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb Red Banks climber

Arthur crests the chute that passes through the Red Banks - the steepest part of the ascent.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb Misery Hill climber

"Misery Hill, at last."

Mt Shasta California mountain climb Misery Hill climbers portrait

Dave, Arthur, Misery Hill.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb Misery Hill climber rocks

The last leg of the journey awaits.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb summit snow climber

The terrain near the summit is dominated by wind. So are we.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb summit snow peak climber

Dave with the summit in sight.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb climber summit ascent

The summit ascent begins.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb summit ice formations

Some maginificant ice formations.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb summit log book

The summit at last. Arthur eagerly records the feat in his diary.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb summit rest

Nearing three miles high, any rest is a godsend.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb summit view climber

...

Mt Shasta California mountain climb summit log

The BBC expedition, recorded in the summit log. Arthur dedicates his climb.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb summit view

Dave savors the view from the peak.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb summit Rocky pose

Celebration.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb summit Cooks champagne

Libation.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb climber Volcom beanie

Arthur, knowing that every step we've taken we have to take again.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb view cloud

The cloud thought it could get higher than us. We threw stones.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb view climber

Return across the ice field.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb Misery Hill descent

Down Misery Hill.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb Misery Hill descent

Endless switchbacks to navigate the soft rock. Stop scrolling so fast, it took us forever.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb descent

Dave and Arthur stop for water as we approach the Red Banks.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb descent

The trail to the Notch was not fun.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb volcanic cone

So that's the vocanic part?

Mt Shasta California mountain climb descent

Approaching the Notch...

Mt Shasta California mountain climb descent ridge

... along a windswept ridge...

Mt Shasta California mountain climb descent ridge Red Banks

... where the clouds did some pretty crazy gymnastics.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb Misery Hill the Notch

Looking up the mountain from the Notch along the length of Misery Hill.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb break Maxim magazine

Dave kept reading the punchlines before Arthur finished the joke. To avoid another ice axe fight, I told him to play 'spot the rock.'

Mt Shasta California mountain climb Maxim magazine

Arthur checks to see if the Notch is in this edition of Found Porn.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb Red Banks climber

Dave avoids the copious falling rocks as Arthur descends the hardest part of the Red Banks.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb climbers Red Banks

Finally done with that section, we reflect on how glad we are that we didn't ascend that way.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb descent glissade

Glissading was most excellent. Luckily David decided to dress in warm clothes that day, opting to wear (comparatively) warm, dry jeans instead of a grass skirt.

Mt Shasta California mountain climb descent glissade

Dave: So lovely weather we're having...

Mt Shasta California mountain climb descent glissade

... Yep. Pristine...

Mt Shasta California mountain climb descent glissade


Arthur
(Axe flailing) I'm coming in hot!
Epilogue

We broke camp and made the long hike with packs back down from Lake Helen. There was some tiredness.