Mount Shasta - My second attempt 2012
This year, my friend John was joining us. John, Dan and I planned to sleep in the parking lot at the Bunny Flat trailhead and summit from there. Leaving Bunny Flat around midnight or 1 AM.
Friday June 1:
Arrived in Mount Shasta, went to the Fifth Season and headed up to Bunny Flat 6950'. John and I hiked around bunny flat for a few hours and Dan stayed at the car.
The plan this time was to sleep in the parking lot a few hours and head straight up at 12 AM.
Saturday June 2:
After a very restless few hours in the parking lot it was 12AM. I would not recommend sleeping in the parking lot as people were arriving all night. We got ready and headed out by 1.
Somewhere around 8 or 9 thousand feet Dan had altitude sickness. I stayed with him and John kept going at a pretty good pace. By the time we were around 10,000' Dan had vomited 5 times. I suggested he turn around, but he insisted he would go to Helen Lake, another 400'.
By the time we got to Helen lake it was turning to daylight around 5 AM. John was there, he had been waiting a long time for us and was feeling ill now as well. I was feeling the altitude, but felt that I could go further, perhaps the Summit!
Dan and John decided to go back down to Bunny Flat. I ate a snack, drank some water and continued climbing.
Here is a video from when I took a break below Red Banks, from around 12,000'
When I got to Thumb Rock, it was very windy and cold.. I'd estimate 30-50 MPH Winds at 12,900 ft.. I didn't have enough gear to protect myself from the wind and felt it would be best to turn around after resting at least 30 minutes at Thumb Rock with a bunch of other people.
Descending from Thumb Rock it is very steep, 45-50 degrees, it was here that one of the leather straps on the crampons that I was using had broke. I had to fix on that slope and got leg cramps a couple of times while doing so. That sucked. It was too icy to glissade. so I had to hike down. I finally made it to Helen Lake. I took a quick break, ate a snack, drank some water and pushed on. It took quite a while to get back to Bunny Flat and I was trying to go as fast as I could, as I knew my friends were just waiting there.
I was back to the car at Bunny Flat trailhead at noon.
I learned a lot on this trip.
1. Take more time. Get there at least a day early to acclimate.
2. Don't sleep in the parking lot(because you won't sleep).
3. Don't use old leather strap crampons, unless you don't mind repairing them on the mountain.
4. Pack goggles, Balaclava, and a extra jacket for wind.