Tuesday, May 5, 2015

TR: A day on Shasta - Part 1: Shastina

I first encountered Barrett near the top of Shasta on a solo mission up the standard Avy Gulch, 3 years ago.  We started talking about descending together, and soon roped in Scott to the conversation, another solo climber with skis on his back.  We figured we were all going at a good pace, reached the summit together, and we should share the stoke on the way down.  Scott convinced Barrett and I to do Konwakiton with him, as he was a bit tentative on doing it solo.

We had a great time on our descent, enjoyed beers at the bottom, exchanged e-mail addresses and have been on many adventures since.  With Barrett; I've climbed Hotlum-Wintun, skied out to Pear Lake Hut, rode an insane mtn bike race.  With Scott, I've climbed Big Willie and Tyndall, had the best pow day last year at Sugar Bowl.  They were up at Shasta a few weekends back, but I couldn't join them, and I don't think all three of us have managed to get together since.

Anyway, Scott got us amped on Shastina, so I came up with an ambitious plan to do Shastina, then Shasta, and check out some of the mountain bike trails down to town.  I think Barrett was a bit hesitant of the plan, as he was going to be there 3 days, but I said we'll play it by ear and make decisions throughout the day depending on how we are feeling.

Turns out if you start the day dropping Angel Wings, you feel great.

signing in with our ambitious plan... Shastina, Whitney Glacier, Kowakiton, Bunny Flat... 
sharing my pooping quarters with this guy...
I left Oakland at 8 pm, and got to BF around 1 am.  Woke up at 4 am to start organizing my food/gear for the day.  Ended up not eating as much food or water...  I can definitely go even lighter next time... 
Booting up Hidden Valley after skiing down off of the ridge between Cascade Gulch.
Barrett with Shastina behind him.  I think the actual summit is on the far left.  
Sisson Lake... not much of a lake..
Google Awesome!
Looking up our eventual climbing route on the Whitney Glacier
One entrance to Angel Wings.  One of the furthest right entrances... and it's steep.  The further right, the steeper...
For our first time earning our wings on Shasta, we opted for the furthest skier's left entrance.  Which seemed mellow enough for us even with bad snow conditions.  We didn't really know what the conditions were going to be like on this N. Facing aspect, so we wanted to play her safe.  
B ready to drop after I told him that the snow was firm, chalky, but fun!
First of many turns of the day.  
Getting to explore this side of Shasta was another real treat for me.  I've climbed up from 4 different trailheads, this was my 23rd summit, and I've circumnavigated this mountain with a buddy in 3 days.  but being this high up in this area was a whole new experience.  The glacier, the color of the rock, and the summit above created an alien landscape that we really enjoyed . 
Further down on Angel Wings.  the snow got really fun around here.  Softened up just enough to really let her loose.  
Slarvy fun.
Our line from below.  Much less intimidating from this angle.  

Once the slope mellowed out, we traversed over towards the glacier, ate a wasabi ham sandwich and half a giant rice ball
and started our hike.  Our day was just beginning, and we were already stoked out of our gourds.

part 2... coming soon...

have to add a few pics from Jibmaster from his day via N. Gate, which shows off our descent much better.  

This shows our descent quite well. We basically dropped in farthes looker's right snowfield in the pic and diagonally skied down through the funnel.  Pic: Brent Heffner
The slopes to the right of Angel Wings off Shastina look like a fun option, with no consequences. Pic: Brent Heffner
Shasta and Shastina Pic: Brent Heffner

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