I've been planning to do Mount Shasta for few years now,pretty much every spring I will start looking at the conditions and hope to get there.
And after a ski trip to Duffey area of carrying our skis for most of the day we decided it's time to enjoy that long volcano skiing.
I was hoping to take one car but since we were 4 we took 2 cars and me,Ben,Michelle and Dave,met at the Bunny Flat parking lot on Friday around 4 PM.
Pretty long drive and pretty rainy all day ,even when we got near Shasta,was a bit raining and couldn't even see Mount Shasta,so far we were not that positive about our climb.
After we got our permits at the Bunny Flats which you can get at the parking lot and are 25 $ cash,and valid for 3 days,asked few guys who turned back because of the high wind and low visibility we drove back down on the road few km where we found a perfect camping spot.
After having our dinner everybody was ready to go to bed but not everybody was happy about my decision to wake up at 2 AM.
2 AM my alarm goes on,usually I wait for the second one,or even third one,but not this time,I woke up started to boil some water,woke up the others and soon we were all packed and ready to drive to Bunny Flat parking lot.
Another group of 4 skiers was just starting when we got there,we could see some stars,so we were pretty confident for the weather.
The trail is not that hard to follow,from parking lot you head a bit left and then you find lots all those tracks that are going to camping ground,Horse Camp,where some parties camp.We skipped the camp and kept on going,could see another group of 2 just going up slowly and again so far the weather was great.
Once we started to climb up from camp the wind started to kick in,it wasn't that bad at that point ,the snow was getting very icy and those ski crampons were very useful.
Higher on the gully towards Helens Lake we were getting some pretty strong winds.
The 2 climbers that we saw earlier were coming down,we tough they are going back from the summit but they were just asking where the route goes.
After our short brake we started to go up towards Helens lake,Michelle and Dave where getting sick from altitude and the wind was getting stronger.
The sun was going up while we were going towards Helens lake and the views were just fantastic,but still pretty windy,sometimes you had to just stop and wait until it's gone for few minutes.
Once we got to Helens Lake we saw a group of 2 higher up going towards Red Banks,carrying theirs skis.
The slope from Helens Lake to Red banks it's a bit steep especially with that icy snow,but we were ok skinning with ski crampons,from time to time we were looking back hoping to see Michelle and Dave.
The wind were getting stronger and stronger,you could get some snow tornadoes ,so we will be moving for few minutes and then stop for few minutes until the wind is gone and move again until we would get hit again by that high wind.
We were able to skin up pretty high,but at some point we decided to put our skis on the backpack and bootpack up to Red Banks,looking down where everybody was moving slowly and keeping our eyes on Michelle and Dave.
Near Red Banks we saw the other 2 skiers hiding behind the rock which was pretty much the only spot from that wind,were we took a small brake too.
From Red Banks we took the first gully on the right and just started to boot pack up until we got to the base of Misery Hill,no wonder why they call it Misery Hill.
Took us a while to climb that hill,looks pretty small from the base but just never ends,had to stop in the middle to get some more energy.
Once we got on Misery Hill we finally could see the summit of Mount Shasta which looks pretty far but took us only few minutes to get to the base of the summit block.
We left our skis at the summit block and went on the left side of the summit block where we traversed to the col between the 2 summits and went right into a gully to the summit of Mount Shasta.
Fantastic views from the summit,but super windy we didn't spent too much time up there,just few photos with us and few photos with the other 2 skiers and down we went.
Back to our skis where was again a nice spot without any wind,so we took our time to get ready for our ski descent.
Very icy skiing ,not too much fun for skiing but better then going up that Misery Hill.
From Misery Hill we traversed left and got into a big gully that looked better to ski down than skiing down on the same approach.
The snow was getting better and better and we were skiing with a huge smile on our faces .
Just bellow Red Banks we met Michelle and Dave who were having a brake on a few rocks,were we all had a few minutes brake before started our skiing down back to the car.
From there the skiing was fantastic,no more morning crust,just a nice spring snow,soft in few spots.
Instead of following same route we went left from Helens Lake which looked like a better route for skiing and it was.
We found some pretty nice long runs all the way down to the parking lot.
It was a one great adventure despite the long,long drive,and pretty boring drive too,so on our way back we decided to take a different route and check Crater Lake,a longer drive but better views and also we got to visit Crater Lake.
Here is a short video of our trip.