Mount Shasta Summit Log (#6973)
- Signed By: Karl Palsson
- Date Submitted: April 15, 2004
hiked up to base camp at around 10000' or so on the saturday, lovely sunny day, all sorts of people skiing down. High winds overnight, and an overcast morning with the sun weakly shining through. Headed up in a long straggly group (we had 13 people, far too many) Quickly broke into 2 main groups. My group of 4 reached the cave just before the traverse left (southwards) under the ice chute in a little over three hours. Still very windy, we continued on up. Stayed right to take the gentler path, and continued on up, following generally well cut steps. About 800ft below the summit, the gale added snow to the wind, causing some concern. With a sheltered path to the summit, we hurried up (summitted at 10:10am, a little over 5 hours from camp) and back and were back down to the the traverse by the time the storm was peaking.
The other party (about 8 or so) was about 45minutes to an hour behind us, and took a steeper, icier route up the top section. They summited in the peak of the storm and began their descent. Things fell apart and one member slide 1500 ft down the snowfield, putting his pick through his thigh in the process. Another member wandered off to get sleeping bags for the injured member and got totally lost and made a second person needed to be helicoptered out. Yuk. All this with one party safely back at camp snacking and lounging.
Moral: Shasta is straightforward in good weather, but if a storm comes and you are not fully prepared for such, turn around. Live to fight another day. Ensure that all members can competently self arrest. Fatigue can impair judgement. blah blah blah usual story, inexperience and poor judgement lead to injuries.
I still had a good weekend, and it is still a lovely mountiain.