Siskiyou County Highpoint Trip Report

Mount Shasta (14,162 feet)

Dates: June 25-26, 2004
Author: John Roper

Since I had taken Friday, June 25th off to climb Mount Jefferson with Adam, Dean, Dennis, and Edward, and since the NOAA website showed that the sun would only be shining in CA (not WA, OR, ID) on this day (and the next two), my friend Dave Stonington and I hopped in the car at 5:50 AM in Bellevue, WA (just E of Seattle) on 6/25, and headed south on I-5 for Mount Shasta (14,162 feet).

555 miles and 8:40 hrs later we arrived in Mount Shasta town.

By 3:40 PM we were packed up at Bunny Flat 6950 feet, ready to go, after paying a $15 fee each, and picking up the properly-required plastic "human waste" bag . Dave, a nationally-known, award-winning, superb senior skier, was warned by the upbeat lady Park Ranger that the skis on his pack would be pretty much useless in the snow conditions on the mountain. He was not deterred by a governmental employee, but a couple of encounters with folks along the trail that had actually skied the mountain suggested that he drop skis at Helen Lake.

We were up the about 1,000 vertical feet on trail to the Sierra Club stone hut (Horse Camp) and snowline at 7,900 ft in an hour. After 4 hours of trudging from Bunny Flat, we were setting up camp at Helen Lake moraine (10,443 ft) at 7:40 PM, about 14 hours from Bellevue.

Arising on Sat, 6/26, we took off at 5:45 AM (after taking target practice on a cute paper target they include along with a couple of paper bags with kitty litter and the plastic bag at checkout). We cramponed up with maybe 120 others total, passed The Heart, and through the Red Banks to about 13,000 ft, finishing up a dirt path over Misery Hill, and across a snow plateau at 13,800 ft, summiting Mount Shasta 14,162 feet, 5 hours later at 10:45 AM.

The trip down in a whoop-dee-doo, sitting-glissade luge track for 2500 feet back to camp was worth the price of admission, definitely provoking a bunch of "yee-haws!"

After packing up, Dave skied from 10,443 ft to 7,500 ft, overshooting our pre-arranged meeting spot at the Horse Camp hut (7,900 ft).

We were back at the car at exactly 3:40 PM, 24 hours after leaving the parking lot.

We could have been home at 1 AM that night, but decided to stop in Medford, OR for a shower and well-deserved rest.

Mount Shasta, with 9,822 feet of prominence is in the very elite group of only 4 peaks in the lower US with over 9,000 feet of prominence. The others are Rainier (P13,211), Whitney (P10,071), and Elbert (P9073).

Photographs are available here.