Sunday, May 22, 2016

Shutdown on Shasta. Shuteye Success

Well, they can't all be wins. I have climbed 5 peaks so far this year, a couple were bound to fail. Mt Shasta was one. The plan was to go to the North Side of Shasta, participate summit via. the Hotlum Glacier, and then take a glacier rescue course organized by the Sierra Mountaineering Club

North Side of Mt Shasta. Never even saw the mountain
The weather forecast was not so great, but we (Troy, Michael and myself) made the 6+ hour drive to Mt. Shasta near the Oregon border. The outlook was not great, it started raining on the way up. We eventually turned down a rough dirt road leading to the North gate trail head. After a few miles the road was covered in snow, and then the snow started to get deeper, and deeper.... We ran into a car heading back down, it was a couple of people also taking the rescue course, and they were bailing. We helped them turn the car around, put the chains on, and continued. Eventually we came across another car heading back. This one belonged to an organizer of the course, it was cancelled, and being moved to the south side of the mountain.

With the danger of more snow fall over the next several days, it seemed likely that the cars might be trapped at the trailhead. So we headed to town, ate a bunch of food, checkout the local gear shop, and camped out. The next day we woke up to decent weather, met the group and did some glacier rescue training on some snow banks. Not ideal, but at least we did something. In the afternoon, it started blizzarding again, basically ending any chances of climbing the mountain. So back to Fresno.

On Monday, as a consolation prize we headed out sport climbing in Shuteye ridge.

Driving into Shuteye.
First we climbed a very interesting formation called the Amphitheater. Its called that for obvious reasons. We went up a 3 pitch 5.8 slabby sport climb. It turned out to be pretty fun in my books. Slab climbing, separated by vertical steps with mantels.

The amphitheater

Troy K. arriving at the anchor on the amphitheater

Me leading out on a steep step on the amphitheater. Photo credit: Tory K.
We rappelled the climb back to a snow field, and moved on to the next crag.

Troy K pulls the ropes. Michael P. hangs out

We went to a formation called the Talon. A short, steep jug-fest with a bunch of roofs. Not my favourite style of climbing, but a nice change from the usual slab, face and crack climbs. This is  where Michael excels. He nailed out a bunch of 5.10 sport climbs on the steep stuff, which Troy and I flailed on! Humble pie

The Talon

Gun show?

Michael shows us how its done

How do I climb this? Where is the crack? The slab? Photo credit: Troy K.

A super fun day all together. I like climbing with these guys, good attitudes, and complementary strengths and weaknesses, make for a good team.

Maybe climb this next time? Shuteye really is a cool place.

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