Our group of 6 climbers and two guides summited Mount Shasta at 7:40 a.m. on Sunday morning, after 6 hours of climbing the Avalanche Gulch route. We spent roughly 8 months fundraising, 5 months training, and in the end, raised $25,100 for BCM and got 6 climbers to the summit, a big metaphor for the kids on our summer program trips (which, coincidentally, started going out in the field this week).
Our group included:
- Jessica, from Arlington, Va., (originally from Chicago), who also summited Mount Rainier in 2007 with Summit For Someone
- Zach, from San Francisco
- Jayson, from Denver (originally from Burlington, Iowa)
- Robb, from Denver (originally from New Hampton, Iowa)
- Steph, from Denver
- SFS Climb Coordinator Brendan, from Denver (originally from New Hampton, Iowa)
- Natalie Matveyeva from Shasta Mountain Guides
- Jason Champion from Shasta Mountain Guides
We spent two days slowly working our way up to our high camp at about 10,000 feet, waiting for good weather — Shasta was intermittently covered in clouds, rain and snow throughout the first day of our trip. Our guides decided to take us up a different route than originally planned, as the Avalanche Gulch route is easier to navigate in bad conditions. Sunday morning, we were up at 12:30, climbing through a whiteout by 1:40, and on top by 7:40. After a few minutes enjoying the sunny summit by ourselves, we plunge-stepped and glissaded back to Horse Camp and hiked out to the trailhead by 2:15.
We couldn’t have asked for a better group of climbers and guides to hang with for three days. Click “Keep reading” to see some photos of the climb.
DIA, June 11, waiting for our flight to Sacramento. I think Jayson is explaining to Robb and Steph why he felt it was okay to borrow an entire bottle of Cholula from the burrito place at the airport.
The night before our climb, I attempted a Mountain of Nachos at the Lake Sis Grille and Brew. They were nothing short of five-star.
Jayson working on our "Thank You" sign at the Stage Door coffee shop in Mount Shasta City, just before we meet our guides to climb Mount Shasta. Each of us had to raise at least $3,600 for Big City Mountaineers to participate in the climb.
Summit For Someone Shasta 2 climbers at the Bunny Flat trailhead, from left: Me, Robb, Jessica, Steph, Jayson and Zach.
Inside the hut at Horse Camp, about 1.7 miles up the trail, where we spent our first night. It rained on us, snowed up high, and the summit of the mountain popped out of the clouds for only a few minutes the whole day.
Sign on the composting toilet at Horse Camp. Funny, I have that same one at home.
Our hike to our second night's camp, just below 10,000 feet. Not too scenic, since we were inside a cloud the entire time. Check out Zach's BCM flag.
Our 3-person tent turned into the "Iowa Tent," as Robb, Jayson and I stayed together in what was a way-too-small, way-too-unventilated structure.
Robb at camp, climbers in the background.
Jason and I built this awesome bathroom with one shovel and a bunch of work. I hope the next people to use our campsite enjoy it as much as we did.
Here's what you take in the bathroom with you -- a bag to do your business in, with specific instructions on how to do that.
Jayson poses with the target that comes in each bag.
Zach, Steph and Jessica wait for Jason to finish cooking dinner. Split pea soup and couscous with ... lentils, which proved to be not so good for people sharing a small, stuffy tent.
After going to bed at about 6:30, we were up at 12:30 a.m. to start climbing. Robb is fresh as a daisy, having actually slept a few hours, unlike myself.
Somewhere, that's Jessica, Jayson, Zach and guide Natalie taking a break. This is our second rest stop, at about 3:45 a.m., I think just below 12,000 feet.
And a couple hours later, the sun came up, now that we're now above the clouds we hiked through the day before.
Feeling pretty chipper now that the sun's up.
After the misery of hacking our way up Misery Hill, here's all that was left -- about 300 vertical feet to the rocky summit.
Robb and I enjoying the view to the west from the top of Misery Hill.
Zach, about ten vertical feet from the summit, after 6 straight hours of crushing it.
Time for an ice-cold refreshing Shasta Cola.
The whole team on the 14,162-foot summit. Clockwise from left: Jason, Zach, Jayson, Jessica, Robb, Natalie, me, and Steph.
The team heads down, ahead of schedule.
Looking west from the top of Misery Hill on our way down.
Steph's new Facebook profile photo?
Pretty sweet souvenir.
The first really clear view we had of Shasta was the day after we climbed it. I think Jayson's at about 3,500 feet taking this photo, so the summit is more than 10,000 feet from where he's standing.