Joined: 06 Dec 2004 Posts: 1027 Location: Paradise 94920
Posted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 10:21 pm Post subject:
passing through wrote:
Did you run the HW route? If so, how are the cups looking?
yes, we did the H-W. suncups are a non-factor. there are some smallish ones at the very bottom of the route but it hasn't frozen there in awhile i think and you just mash right through them. snow elsewhere on the route is pretty amazing for July a few random snow ridges here and there to look out for, but otherwise just creamy and good.
is it skiable off the summit?
the east side down towards the wintun glacier is skiable from just off the NE side of the summit rocks. With technique and stamina, you can skin to within about 30 feet of the summit.
Joined: 06 Dec 2004 Posts: 1027 Location: Paradise 94920
Posted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 5:28 am Post subject:
OK, here'sda report from last weekend'sepic trip ta Shasta. Suffice ta say dat it wuz definitely da shizzle nizzle. The weather wuz threatening all weekend long, but we's lucked out an' timed it absolutely perfect fo' great skiing on both days.
Photos by Joe an' me
Joe an' I met at da Brewer Creek trailhead friday night late wiff plans ta climb an' ski da Hotlum-Wintun Ridge. If you planning ta ski dis here route, plan on an extra hour ta git ta da trailhead. First ya cruize about 25 minutes east past McCloud, then ya wind on forest service roads o' decent quality fo' about 20 miles (first paved, then dirt o' pimp-tight quality dat gets gradually worse as ya git near da TH). Easily passable by passenger cars though, just takes awhile. The road iz well signed, so I'm not sure why peeps git lost here.
The trailhead wuz in fog when we's left early saturday morning. Neither one o' us had uh GPS or compass, which might be handy ta gots when descending into da featureless forest at da end o' da trip (even Lowell Skoog had some static here). We had doubts dat da weather would cooperate, but we's pressed on. After about 20 minutes o' hiking, we's hit one o' da snow fingers dat extend down from da volcano an' we's started skinning. Snow texture wuz quite pimp-tight an' suncups wuz minimal an' soft. And da Gods wuz smiling on us cuz we's emerged from da fog right at timberline. Of course da mountain wuz still socked in.
Joe skinning out o' da trees
but it gave us brief glimpses
Looking back at da fog hanging over da hansel & gretel forest
We labored under da full packs fo' about 3,000 vertical feet until we's set up camp. We wuz scouting fo' water along da route as we's had heard o' uh nice campsite around 9,800' but didn't find any. While setting up da tent, we's heard da running water across da gulch we's wuz camped in. I grabbed da bottles ta head over an' fill up cuz it looked so close. But on dis here mountain, distances iz incredibly deceiving. I descended about 500' an' walked about uh half mile just ta git ta da water source dat looked like it wuz right dere. After some grumbling, we's wuz back at da campsite an' finished setting up da tent. The weather wuz crap ag'in, so we's decided ta wait an' see. Visibility wuz about 20 feet, an' we's heard uh group o' three skiers yelling in da distance trying ta stick together an' not git lost in da whiteout.
Around 1pm, uh sucka hole opened up an' we's jet fo' it, skinning up towards da hotlum headwall. The skinning wuz interesting. One minute you'd gots this:
an' 30 seconds later you'd gots this:
But da clouds made fo' some tight photos
While climbing, we's seen uh few teleskiers ripping down da snowfield
Pretty soon we's wuz above da main bank o' clouds an' enjoying da skinning along da edge o' da icefall on da Hotlum glacier
We got up ta da rock outcropping at da top o' da big snowfield left o' da hotlum glacier at around 12,500' an' decided dis here wuz far enough fo' taday. Including our foo''serrand ta git water, we's had climbed 5,600', over half wiff full packs, an' now it wuz tyme ta ski some corn.
Joe looking out over da Hotlum Glacier
Joe ripping turns along da edge o' da glacier
One pimp-tight turn deserves another
Then uh hard bank ta da right an' uh GS arc across da snowfield an' uh little bit o' air off uh windlip...
We even seen AT Anonymous up dere!
In short order we's wuz back at da tent wiff pasta on da boil.
After dinner, uh few random raindrops fell. We hightailed it into da tent where Joe busted out uh nice surprise -- uh couple o' junior jacks
You always learn uh little about someone when ya spend da night sitting out uh rainstorm in uh tent, an' dis here one wuz nahh exception. Glad I got ta know Joe bettah afta skiing wiff him on many days over da past year an' uh half. A pimp-tight ski bud iz worth his or her weight in gold.
We had bold plans ta alight da next morning at 5am fo' da summit. We figured on five hours fo' da climb. 1,000' per hour fo' da first 2K, then taking three hours fo' da next 2,000' at da high altitude. When 5am rolled around, da rainclouds wuz still wiff us. It wasn't too hard rolling right back into da sleeping bag. But around 6am, we's looked outside an' seen this:
Holy crap, where iz da clouds???
We got our packs together an' left da tent around 7am. The prior day we's had skinned ta 12,500' an' da going wuz tough. Slushy conditions an' steep terrain made da skin challenging. So we's decided ta jet da skins an' just crampon up da whole way. We figured dat yesterday'ssummitters would gots left us uh nice bootpack. We soon realized da folly o' our ways when we's started punching in about 6-12 inches wiff each step. Not uh big deal at first, but then it started ta be boot high, then knee high at times. It jet dis here way fo' about 500' until we's hit uh mo' solid part o' da bootpack. I wuz feeling great (I actually got ta acclimatize da day 'bfoe instead o' going straight up from sea level), so I stormed up da next 1,500' without really stopping. I th'o't it wuz da breakfast o' poptarts an' da Jayhawks playing on da ipod dat powered me up dere. I stopped around 12,000' ta rest an' got some great views o' Joe above da clouds.
We spotted uh couple pimpz skinning up behind us an' dey wuz setting uh fine ass pimp-tight pace too, following our skin track from da prior day.
It turns out dat da other pimpz wuz Powderjunkie an' Fassnor on they splitboards. Very tight ta run into dem, especially since we's wuz da only four peeps on dis here side o' da mountain.
When we's contoured around into da 1,500' chute leading ta da summit, I thought fo' sure dey would change ta boot mode. We briefly mocked they choice o' travel until we's started postholing waist deep in spots on da steep face across da top o' da Wintun Glacier. "ADVANTAGE SKINNERS" Joe announced.
Struggling up da chute in bottomless slush
Switching leads breaking trail (and wind!)
While Fassy an' PJ just keep skinning up. They wuz relentless mofo, kind o' like da paperboy in Better off Dead.
Near da top, da snow conditions got uh little bettah (freeze line wiff da clouds wuz maybe 13,500'?) an' da views out ta Lassen wuz great.
Joe wiff uh steezy kirkwood hat circa 1982
Then out o' nowhere we's see gangstas climbing down from what we's thought wuz uh false summit. Turns out our altimeters wuz about 400' off. Man, I LOVE when dat happens.
Joe admiring da long view towards Alturas...
Scouting da lines down da Wintun Glacier
Some climbers coming up da trade route from Misery Hill
And then it wuz tyme fo' skiing. Joe demonstrates dat ya literally can ski off da summit block.
Fassnor shows off his FF(F)FYB on da upper descent
Joe points da whippet down fo' 6,800' mo' o' corn
On da way up, Joe an' I debated our descent options. Basically dere wuz three: ski da ascent route, ski da steep chute adjacent ta da hotlum headwall, or ski da gnar gnar chute in da middle o' da face. We originally wanted ta do da gnar gnar option but didn't feel like portaging our skis over roxors an' trying ta find da entrance. We rejected da ascent route as havin' too soft o' snow an' also being da pedestrian route. We figured da headwall chute, being mo' NE facing, would gots bettah corn on such uh warm day.
PJ dropped first, down da far left branch, an' banked uh turn off da headwall.
Unfortunately, our snow assessment wuz wrong. The snow wuz fine ass firm an' crust on top, which we's couldn't believe. We mus' gots found da only patch o' hard snow on da entire side o' da mountain. Nonetheless, I thought da skiing -- steep an' exposed -- wuz fine ass fricken fun.
Getting ready ta rip. Hotlum Glacier below.
Making da bomb o' it
Fassnor an' PJ traversed back over ta our chute near da bottom an' we's all ripped down ta da snowfield over increasingly bettah snow. 10 turns down, we's wuz on Green Giant brand creamed corn, an' it never stopped. A photo orgasm took place thereafter, wiff all o' us taking turns ripping da corn an' filming/photographing.
A quick pack up back at da tents an' we's wuz off. Fassy an' PJ had uh big lead on us, but we's had two advantages -- dey wuz on splitboards, an' we's knew da way back ta da cars through da hansel an' gretel forest (actually, Joe knew da way. I prob'ly would've gotten us lost). The key iz ta angle slightly left afta snowline until ya run into da trail, which runs uh long lateral back ta da trailhead (probably ta catch wayward hikers descending da mountain). Somehow we's beat dem back ta da cars, an' our beers wuz cracked as dey stumbled into da parking lot. Obligatory high fives wuz exchanged as da adrenelin wound down from dis here fantastic outing.
A bettah day on Shasta may not gots been possible. Occasional clouds kept da sun off o' us, an' da skies parted just long enough fo' Shasta ta let us get jiggy wit it down her perfect east side. I'll be back, but I'm not sure it will ever be dis here pimp-tight ag'in.
Joined: 08 Dec 2004 Posts: 376 Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 7:19 am Post subject:
Nice! It's a trip when those coulds come in and pass through so quick. I'm surprised you didn't see any Lemurians though.
Now try running that TR through gizoogle. Here's a sample:
You always learn uh shawty `bout someone wizzy ya spend da night sitt'n out uh rainstorm in uh tent, an' dis here one wuz nizzle exception . Death row 187 4 life. Glad I gots ta know Joe bettah afta blingin' wizzle him on many days over da pizzay year an' uh hiznalf. A pimp-tight ski bud iz wizzorth his or her weight in gold and yo momma.
Good to know there's always room for improvement in one's self-expression.
GJ, that Hotlum chute has been rock-hard every time I've been up there (3-4 times? all in late season), even when the rest of the eastside is mush. I think it's a combination of aspect and exposure to wind.
Thanks fo` a bootylicious report Steeleman cuz tha Double O G. Big Tim n I is plannin' on heezeeing up there in a couple of weeks, sure hope tha conditions wiznill be as good as when you guys were up there straight from long beach-compton.
Yo life, as you kniznow it... is gone. Bitch ta return . Im crazy, you can't phase me. But they learn how ta wizzay n they learn how ta talk... n you wizzle ta be wit tizzle n shit. And they tizzle out ta be tha most delightful thugz you wizzill ever mizzy in yo life.
Joined: 16 Dec 2004 Posts: 98 Location: northern california
Posted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 10:20 pm Post subject:
AAAAHHHH YYYEEEAAAHHH, let me add to the love.
After some prodding and totally downplaying the weather outlook for the weekend, I got fassnor on board for an assult of Shasta from Brewer Creek. You don't get to see the eastside of Shasta too often and when we arrived at the TH Saturday morning we still didn't get a look of her. It was cloudy and foggy-like at times. It had sprinkled the night before and it wasn't looking promising. But we packed up anyway and started the hike. We only had to hike for about a half hour before hitting snow, then was able to skin to our campsite at about 10,200. It took us about 4 hours. There was another campsite below us and another across the snowfield. It was still really cloudy but every once in a while it would break and we could get a glimpse of the route and the summit.
After getting camp all set up we hung out, relaxed and enjoyed the views. We were tempted to get a lap in, but with sketchy visibility, we thought we would just drink some wine and eat some cheese.
That night it got pretty windy and rained for a good while. At 4:30 in the morning we woke to very bad visibility. We slept another hour then realized that it was sunny. We peaked out of the tent to bluebird skies. Holy crap. We better get going. We started hiking around 7:00 expecting to take 4 to 5 hours to summit.
fassnor skinning up
We noticed two skier climbing near us from their camp across the snowfield. I asked one skier if his parter was Mike Schwartz because he was climbing like a madman and I thought I recognized his car at the TH (it had a backcountry sticker). The skier said no but that they were from the Bay Area and Tahoe and knew Mike. After a few hours were were on the left side of the rock ridge and as I got closer to them for some reason I said "Hey, is your name Rich?". He said "Yes" and I said "the one and only STEELEMAN!?". He said "Yeah". "Hey man, it's powderjunkie and fassnor". Too cool. The other skier was Joe (joesnow and sltjoe?). So we all continued on to the summit, suffering together in the warming sun.
Steeleman and joe
We all got to the summit around noon with me being the lagger. The views were sick.
climber on the football field
summit block with Lassen in the background
We were the only climbers on the east face and only a few other people were on the summit. It was amazing.
We decided to descend toward the Hotlum glacier because although the Wintun headwall looked sweet it was getting pretty warm and there was a real threat of wetslides. So we all dropped in and headed over to the untouched northeast face above the Hotlum glacier. The line looked unreal. Steeleman and Joe got to the skiers right snowfield and fassnor and I got ready to drop into the left, steeper, narrower chute. The top was $...
...but it quickly turned into total hardpack, bumpy, hell. I stopped and tried to tell fassnor to abandon it. He couldn't see or hear me so I thought I'd at least film his ride. He luckily stopped where I did and we were able to scramble over to the slightly softer snowfield that Steeleman and Joe were about to descend.
Steeleman and Joe skied it like it was no big deal.
Joe rippin' it
That photo really snows the condition of the snow surface. It was breakable so we all continued on knowing it would get better..... and it did.
Steeleman descending with the Hotlum glacier in view
Once the snow softened it was all good. Some interesting sections to keep you on your toes and more mushy conditions as we neared our camps.
Just as we were nearing camp the clouds came back in. It was perfect. Shasta opened her skies just long enough for us to touch the top and etch lines down her east face.
Joined: 06 Dec 2004 Posts: 2634 Location: Tigard, OR
Posted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 2:17 am Post subject:
do any of you glacier skiers take precautions for a crevasse fall?
Yes. I don't take my skis off when I'm in areas that I'm concerned about crevasses. The bridging of your weight from skis significantly mitigates the likelihood of a snow bridge failure vs when you’re just booting. Other precautious I take include watching for sags, avoiding skiing over areas that I know are heavily crevassed in summer and using common-sense. If I was to ski something heavily crevassed, like say the Emmons on Rainier, you bet I'd be wearing a harness and they'd be gear in the party to effect an extraction.
In regards to the specific route ATA, et al. did, I've seen photos of the upper Wintun glacier in late summer and the edge of the Wintun glacier that they booted-up was not crevassed. Further mitigating the hazard is that this has been a huge snow year.
When and where would a Shasta crevasse become a concern??
When would they be a concern? It entirely depends on route, but in a lot of cases by the time crevasses are a serious issue the suncups are so horrendous you wouldn't want to ski it anyway.
Last edited by Gaper Jeffey on Thu Jul 14, 2005 5:07 am; edited 1 time in total
Joined: 07 Dec 2004 Posts: 1484 Location: Amherst, Mass.
Posted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 2:11 pm Post subject:
When and where would a Shasta crevasse become a concern??
Just a clarification that most of the standard Shasta ski routes (despite their well-endowed snowpacks) are almost 100% glacier free - yet another reason why, in the words of the great Lou Dawson, Shasta may very well be the best ski mountain in North America. _________________ My Dynafits are powered by GU.
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