:: Mount Shasta Climbing Trip (June 12 - June 14 2003) ::

This is the record of a failed climbing attempt of Mount Shasta.
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:: Thursday, June 12, 2003 @ 4:30 PM ::

I left work to go home and throw my stuff in the truck and head up to Soutn San Francisco to pick up Forrest. I used Yahoo! Maps to plot my route and it wasn't until I was about halway up there that I realized that I hadn't gone on the best route. But I made it to Forrest's place around 6:30 PM, picked him up and headed on out way. We got to hit rush hour traffic on our way out of San Francisco.

:: Thursday, June 12, 2003 @ 11:30 PM::
After a long drive north, we finally arrived in the city of Mount Shasta. We were not about to pay good money to get a hotel room, so we looked for a place where I could park my truck and then sleep in the back. We drove through town and then headed toward the trailhead to see if we could find a place to park and sleep. We found some fire roads near the trailhead that seemed to be pretty quiet, so I found a turnout on one of those and turned off the truck. Not long after having done that, a Toyota 4x4 truck came blasting down the fire road. I think they were going so fast that they didn't see us. We were worried that the ranger would find us and tell us that we couldn't sleep there. I guess I'm conditioned to expect to have to pay for every place that I sleep. But we got our self inflating air mattresses and sleeping bags out and hit the sack. It was fairly comfortable and the sky was clear, so it was pretty easy to drift off to sleep.

:: Friday: June 13, 2003 @ 8 AM::
We woke up pretty early with dew on the outsides of our sleeping bags. We had to shake them and leave them out to dry. But we got ourselves situated and headed into town to run our errands so that we could start our trek. We first went to the Ranger Station and got our summit passes and crapper bags, then we parked across the street from the rental shop. We saw that the rental shop didn't open until 9 AM, so we walked down the street to get some breakfast. There is a bagel shop in town that makes the best breakfast bagel that I've ever had. I believe it was called Bagel Cafe Bakery & Juice Bar. After we were done with breakfast we walked back to the rental shop and got our gear. The shop was super busy, so we knew that it was going to be a very busy weekend on the mountain. After we picked up our gear we grabbed some water from the grocery store and were back on way to the trialhead.

:: Friday, June 13, 2003 @ 11 AM::
We got on the trail heading up toward Horse Camp. The trail was so different than when we came last August. There was snow all the way from the parking lot up to the top of the mountain. The going was a lot slower than last August. From the very beginning I knew that it was going to be a long row to hoe. But I kept working at it and we eventually made it to Horse Camp.

:: Friday, June 13, 2003 @ 1 PM::
We made it to Horse Camp. As with everything, it looks much different than last August because it has a lot more snow now. The elevation here is 7898 ft. We take a quick break to look around and get our packs off. There is a small chipmunk that tried to get into my backpack. It has no fear of people, so I chase it away, but it comes back again. We took a few pictures, decided that we would try ascending Casaval Ridge, and we were on our way.

:: Friday, June 13, 2003 @ 5 PM::
We are up on a ridge west of Casaval Ridge. We don't exactly know where we are going, and this is the hardest part of the trip. We are portholing every step up the mountain. We have to stop for breaks every 15 minutes or so. To add to the entertainment value, two guys behind us decided to follow us because they thought we knew where we were going. I feel sorry for them. Their names are Fredrick and Kirk.

:: Friday, June 13, 2003 @ 7 PM::
We have decided that we have gone far enough, so we stop at the top of a ridge and find two small places to camp. The weather is beautiful and we snap a bunch of pictures of the summit and the surrounding area. Forrest is beat so I start setting up camp. After I get everything setup I decide to start boiling water so that we actually have some water to drink. And the only way to do it is to melt snow. Melting snow to water and then boiling that water takes a lot of fuel. I spent about an hour or more working on the boiling water issue before I gave up and decided that we had enough water. At this point I was not feeling good because of the elevation and just wanted to go to sleep. Forrest was dry heaving.

:: Saturday, June 14, 2003 @ 3 AM::
I slept pretty well because my sleeping bag and inflatable air mattress are awesome. But I still didn't feel good when I woke up. So after I got up and went outside and walked around a little bit I decided that I wasn't going to be attempting the summit today. So I talked Forrest into attempting the summit with Fredrick and Kirk. They all left base camp just before 4 AM and I went back to sleep.

:: Saturday, June 14, 2003 @ 6:30 AM::
I woke up to the sound of the group coming back to camp. I looked at my watch and saw that it was only 6:30 AM and figured that something must have gone wrong because they could not have summitted and then come back down that fast. Forrest said that they got to a place that was too steep and had to turn around. So everyone went back to sleep.

:: Saturday, June 14, 2003 @ 9:00 AM::
I woke up again, and this time I saw that Kirk and Fredrick had left. I guess they had to get back to the SF Bay Area to catch a flight or something. Forrest and I decided to walk up to the top of the ridge and check out the scenery and get some pictures. The snow was still really hard so we figured we could wait a few hours before glissading down.

:: Saturday, June 14, 2003 @ 12:00 PM::
After hanging out on the ridge and looking down at avalanche gulch we decided to go back to camp and pack up and start heading back to the trailhead. My highest elevation this trip was 10468 ft. Pretty lame when you consider that I made to almost 13000 ft last time.

:: Saturday, June 14, 2003 @ 1:00 PM::
After cooking up some cup-o-noodles we got our things packed up and started glissading down the mountain. I have to say that going down is a lot faster and more pleasant than going up. It would have been even more fun if I had brought my snowboard. Even though it was steep I could have easily carved up those slopes. But glissading is a blast. Forrest got some footage with his video camera, so I hope he is able to get that edited.

:: Saturday, June 14, 2003 @ 3:00 PM::
We made it all the way back to my truck at the trailhead. I have never seen so many people parked here before. It is like we are parking at a ski resort or something. We asked one girl on her way up where she was headed and she replied by saying "the summit". We were thinking "No shit, really?". But we clarified by asking what route and she said avalanche gulch. We were asked lots of times on the way down if we made it to the top or not. Of course we felt the shame when we said no. It was nice to get back to my truck and get the pack off my back. I went and changed my clothes and we were headed back to town to return our ice axes and crampons. After we were done there we decided to check out the Black Bear Diner. I was finally feeling better so I got a big juicy burger with garlic fries. After our meal was over we were on our way back to the SF Bay Area.

:: Saturday, June 14, 2003 @ 6:00 PM::
On our way back we decided to stop at Lake Siskiyou. Forrest said that he had gone camping there with his family as a kid and hadn't been there for a long time. We drove around most of the lake and stopped to take a few pictures of the lake and of Mount Shasta in the background. We also stopped at a hatchery on our way back to the highway. There were tons of fish there. Too bad I didn't bring my fly rod.

:: Saturday, June 14, 2003 @ 7:00 PM::
Our last major stop on the way back was Lake Shasta. I guess this lake is really popular and it gets a lot of house boats and activity in the summer. We drove around and checked it out and then were back on our way home.

:: Sunday, June 15, 2003 @ 12:15 AM::
The drive back was fairly uneventful. We tried to call Doug once we got closer to Sacramento, but he didn't answer the phone so we decided to keep on driving. I dropped Forrest off in South San Francisco around 11 PM and then started heading home to south San Jose. When I got home I put all my stuff in the garage, got showered up, and hit the sack. Game Over.