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[TR] Shasta- Clear Creek 5/29/2004


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Climb: Shasta-Clear Creek


Date of Climb: 5/29/2004


Trip Report:

We started climbing on Saturday at 12:30 pm from about 500' and maybe 1.5 miles below the Clear Creek trailhead. We had pushed farther up through some snow piles in the road than anyone previously thanks to a friend's 4wd Toyota and relatively soft snow. We were able to skin up most of the road with the exception of a few short carries and "dirt skinning". We stopped at the trailhead on the way up- there were no fee envelopes, but there were plenty of the crap bags. The trail up follows a ridge above the Mud Creek Canyon. Got to a nice spot at around 9000' at timberline to camp. I'm used to doing 1 day climbs, so skinning up with a full pack was a new experience for me. I was way over packed.


We set up camp at timberline and there was only one couple there. We didn’t take tents and used tarps/space blankets as ground cloths instead. The weather was perfect all weekend, so the choice to not use tents was right on. We melted a bunch of snow to fill water bottles and fixed dinner. The view south to Lassen was beautiful and it was serene watching Shasta’s shadow progress across the forests below.


Started up at 6:00am the next morning (a little behind schedule) on firm snow. We used crampons for the first 2000’ ft up or so, but removed them after the snow softened. Boot packed it the rest of the way up. I was able to follow a continuous avenue of snow to the ~13,000 ft level before the snow ran out on the Clear Creek side. Crossed over on some rocky patches to the top of the Wintun. It was very windy and when I reached the top of the ridge below the summit I was almost blown over backwards. I left my pack (with a bunch of rocks on it to keep it from being blown off the ridge) and skis at about the 13,800’ level and put the crampons back on. Without the skis and pack I made good time circling around the summit plug and climbing the last pitch to the top. A ranger was coming down as I was going up and asked for my permit. He was OK that I didn’t have one since we had come up the Clear Creek route, but asked if I had the money. I did, and handed it to him. I didn’t get a receipt, so I don’t know if I made a contribution the government or to the dude’s beer fund. I saw only about 5 other people climbing on the side of the mountain we were on until I reached the summit area. Lots more folks there, mostly coming up from Avalanche Gulch. Summitted at 1:30, signed the summit log, and took the obligatory photo.


Got back to my pack (relieved that it was still there), put the skis on, and started down. The fun begins. We did a few turns on the top of the Wintun in some windblown, soft snow before crossing back across the rocks (with skis on the pack) to the Clear Creek pitch. Snows from last week had accumulated on one side and provided a smooth cream cheese lane about 30 ft wide most of the way down. Carvalicious. Where there were sun cups, it was soft and fun to get little hits. I made it back to camp with an ear-to-ear grin. Got back at around 3:15 or so. We had Happy Hour in the warm sunshine as the rest of the crew made it back in to camp. Some of the more adventurous took a hike to get some evening turns above camp. The contrast of the turns on the gray grit covered snow looked nice.


We spent Sunday night in camp and got a leisurely start with breakfast the next morning. The sun was warm and the bowl above camp was inviting. Several of us climbed to the top of the bowl and carved up the remaining untracked lines. After packing, we started back down to the truck. It didn’t take too long getting used to skiing with a heavy pack, but it was tough on the legs. We had a fun ride down through the roller coaster wind formations on the ridge; took our time and were playing on some cornices since one of the people in our group was hiking down. There were a few more carries and dirt skiing sections in the forest and the road below the trailhead, but we were able to ski to about 20 yards of the car. We took about two hours to get down from camp. The drive home to Oregon was not too bad considering the Memorial Day traffic. A truly Shastariffic weekend.


[i put some pictures in the gallery, I couldn't figure out how to integrate them in to the TR] confused.gif

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