Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lassen & Shasta... like Sheen, winner.

From this year on I plan to exploit the Shasta/Lassen combo trip to new higher benchmarks... that area is sooooooo fantastically awesome to not spend more time up there.

Shasta... what can I say about Shasta, my first "real" mountain... Shasta has been my main mentor in mountaineering, and has taught me to smile, stay cool, and always be ready to turn around.  The harsh reality of nonreciprocating love.  The location of my annual pilgrimage where I reflect back on the season while kicking meditative steps up it's gentle flank... the highs, the lows... and give thanx that all the close calls & near misses were what they were... at times I feel like I'm in Shavasana, rejuvinating my mind, body, and soul.

The scene at Bunny Flat the night before.  Talked and had a few beers with Kyle Miller... who got me pretty amped about the North Cascades for sure.  Also Jeremy Jones and his crew were all here too... partying at Horse Camp.  

Passing Helen Lake... quite a busy weekend.  I think I passed over 100 people on the way up...

about as crowded as I've ever seen up Avy Gulch.... folks made some great steps though so I could make great time up to the Red Banks.  

Looking up the Red Banks with a cool contrail behind her... 

Misery Hill.  I was hoping to meet up with the Servaites here... but I learned that they had made it only 1000 ft above their camp... so I trudged on, hoping I would catch them on the way down...  

Ran into Bruce... last time I saw him was on top of Tallac like 5 years ago I believe... 

Crazy looking clouds surrounding the summit... surprisingly not that windy.  

Lackluster summit shot...

Ran into another solo-ist on the summit, Bennett, who convinced me to ski down with him... which I gladly did.  

Then we ran into Scott, another solo-ist who was debating whether to ski down the Konwakiton solo or if we could recruit some partners.  He convinced Barrett and me to join him...

Here's why the Konwakiton is called the "muddy one"

The parking lot was quite entertaining... from some crazy lady telling Barrett to keep picking up his dog's poo... to the Lemurian believers with a gold headband with a crystal in the middle to "communicate" with them... to the numerous professional photographers awaiting the eclipse... to the dozens of hippies, ready to be one with nature at this spiritual hot spot. I had to jet unfortunately, and caught the eclipse from a rest area near Red Bluff, but I did leave a note and a snow-cooled Pliny the Elder for Toro at the car... which he didn't see and left at the parking lot.  Unbelievable...

Here's my route... might be useful to study if you want to hit up the Konwatikon Glacier route. 

Here's the vid

 Lassen, is just pure fun.  Compared to Shasta... it feels like nothing can go wrong here.  It's big enough to occupy your whole day, but small enough that you feel like you could really never get lost on it.  Following the sun around the mountain, you can harvest that Cascade Concrete all morning long... well into the afternoon before making that 30 min ski/hike back to your car where your snow-chilled IPA awaits with a grin... probably cuz it can see the phallic radio repeater marking the summit.  

Why is the parking lot called, "devastated area"?  Check out what it used to looked like a 100 years ago... from http://www.skiing-blog.com

Madatory summit shot... no comment

and another vid

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