Saturday, August 6, 2011

Shasta not the drink

August 05, 2011

Mt Shasta(white mountain)  14 ,179 ft.
Departed my car at 1:00 am,  it was a calm, cool starry night.  I wore shorts and a t-shirt with my Montrail boots. The first 1 .6 miles is easy hiking with little elevation gain to the Sierra hiking hut and fresh spring water.  From there I hiked over a few moraines and passed lake Helen on the left side.  Lake Helen isn't a lake, no water  This is the typical bivouac site for people doing a two day hike.  The snow was hard and cold which after I put on my crampons and helmet turned into a kick step, kick step breathe and repeat over and over.  Not being able to see, I stayed on the high side and traversed just below the heart and passed it on the right side.  From there, it was a long climb up to red bank chimneys, two people were in the one to my right and Patrick the English teacher from sacremento was on my left so I went up  the middle chimney.  I caught Patrick who had started from lake Helen just below misery and we knocked out another 1000 foot elevation increase.  Now the summit was in view and we passed some hot springs where according to John Muir's book he used to camp out on.  It smelled like sulfur and I don't know how anyone could smell the rotten egg smell for nights on end.  The steam coming from the ground was interesting to see.  We were the first to summit for the day and the sky was blue, no wind and sunny.  I hung out on the summit for about 1/2 hour,   signed the log book with something sentimental and something funny to me.  Go check it out.   and then I  began a fun descent.  From the chimneys to lake Helen is a 2000 foot drop in elevation and I glissaded down the whole thing at what felt like break neck speed but I'm sure it was slow.  Uneventful, slow climb, summit and return back to the car.  This I will take over epic almost die anytime.  No headache, no nausea, legs feel great, got two blisters on my heels.  Btw, does anyone want a pair of Montrail hiking boots.  I wore them four times and that equals 8 blisters. I'm done with those boots.  

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