14 July 2006. Mount Shasta. 6:00pm
A week in San Francisco with Amy and Kris, A few days in Lassen Volcanic National Park, out to Redding and up the 5 to Dunsmuir and Mossbrae Falls, then up to Shasta.
Up Lassen in 1:18, then some steep glissading. A little more than I bargained for, but ultimately okay. Lots of snow above 8000 feet; the upper lakes still completely covered.
Checked back in with the rest of the world via cell phone when back out in Redding; finally got in touch with Mike to talk about Ranier and Mom and Dad. Stopped in an outdoor shop to pick up some basics and a map of Shasta, got a bit more food. Had a pint of ice cream in the parking lot, in the shade, but still able to feel the heat radiating off the blacktop. North on the 5 past Shasta Lake. Camped on National Forest land just outside Castle Crags after "sunset" photography along the Sacramento River.
Woke up early and walked in to Mossbrae Falls in order to catch it in full shadow. Good shots from the railroad bridge looking back towards the falls. Good breakfast in Dunsmuir afterwards. Poked around the town of Mount Shasta, bought Elizabeth Gold's "Brief Moments of Horrible Sanity" about a non-teacher teaching a semester of English in a progressive inner-city school (recommended to me by a couple of friends. I'm a few chapters into it, having started it this afternoon -- right now, I'm not favorably inclined.), talked Tour at the Fifth Season store, and lounged in an internet cafe for two hours for the price of an iced chai latte.
Drove up to the trailhead, packed, made dinner in the parking lot. Started up to Horse Camp late (intentionally) -- arrived at 8:00pm. Woke up late, having slept through my alarm again, and got on trail at 5:45am. Most people start between 2:00 and 4:00 in the morning in order to summit and start down by noon to avoid rockfall. Thankfully, I'm acclimated and in good shape; I made the climb in just under 5 hours (6000' gain!). Mostly steep snow. Not a technical challenge, just endurance. Not even the exposure of the high sections of Whitney, although the views down to some of the bergschrunds on the glaciers was impressive. Very wild at the uppermost section, like photographs from the Andes. Amazing rime and cauliflower ice on the very-top outcrop. Strange to be up so high on such highly-erodable rock; I'm much more used to granite or solid metamorphics. Somehow pyroclastics and tuffs, even welded, don't inspire as much confidence. A beautiful 360-degree view from the top. Great, great conditions for the day, too -- hard snow and only light wind.
Phenomenally fun glissading on the way down. Some steeps, steering like kayaking... Self-arrested a few times. Have to come back and do it with Mike if only for the glissading.
Sorry -- doing it felt profound, but I'm having a hard time communicating the feeling to non-climbers.
Spent over an hour at the top, made it down in 1:30. Hung out a Horse Camp for a while and then headed out.
Could've made it up to Fern's for the evening, but I don't know how much conversation I could've made. Decided to stay here at the trailhead and kick back, savoring the deep. full-body exhaustion. It's not like the sharp knife of interval workouts; comparing the two is like contrasting the ocean versus class 4 river rapids.
14 July 2006. Mount Shasta. 8:30pm
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