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[TR] Shasta- Casaval Ridge 2/4/2005


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Climb: Shasta-Casaval Ridge


Date of Climb: 2/4/2005


Trip Report:

I went to Mt. Shasta On Thursday night. Slept at bunny flats, from 11:00 to 4:00 a.m., getting a good nights sleep. I awoke, skiied to the base of the ridge, ditched the ski's, and proceeded to solo the ridge from the base to the summit in about 6 hours. It consisted of perfect hard neve, with a lot of exposed easy mixed climbing. The rock was like a spung, and formed to my crampons. I then proceeded up Misery Hill in 100+ mph winds, and summitted at around 12:00p.m. Signed in the summit register, and then made the ardous decent down avy gulch. The gulch is very hard icy neve and makes for a long decent. I made it back to the skiis, and enjoyed a beautiful exit back to the truck. It was 2:00 p.m. when I returned to bunny flats, at which time I went straight to the black bear diner for a 3/4 pound burger.

The mountain really had great conditions, which made for a fun day in the hillz!






Gear Notes:

One tool, Poons, compass, not much else


Approach Notes:

Use skiis, watch for wind loading

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Hi Cascadeclimbers!

I am new to this forum. From LA but love to climb up in your backyard...




I am planning a 2 day climb up the ridge this weekend. Ive climbed the northside (hotlum glacier) and the gulch in spring and summer but not the ridge...


1. wondering how long a typical snowshoe to the base of the ridge would take from bunnyflat.

2. the 100+mph winds were above or at misery hill from the northwest i assume, or not? how did you circumvent them? just wondering b/c consistent 40+mph winds are sufficient to knock me over and impair forward movement (at least from my measurements). did you avoid them by going around the southeast side of misery hill?...


Thanks for any beta.


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The approach will depend on how much this recent storm dropped. I did the approach once in snowshoes, and it took about 1 hour....(shrug).

Winds were the strongest in the col between the false summit and misery hill, and on top of misery hill.

I can't personally say how much wind it takes to knock you over, yet I have learned on shasta in winters before that 80+ mph will buffett me severely, and 100+ I need to be self-arresting during the big gusts.

There was no avoiding the wind in the col, but I did traverse misery hill via the north face, which was blue boiler plate ice due to wind scouring....

my suggestion is to be a creeper in the wind....get as low as possible and aerodynamic, and then slowely move forward....or use the wind in your favor as a kind of sail.


Be prepared for high winds, as the jet stream drops across the mountain in winter...

All that said, the route is very asthetic, and the rock portions are most excellent.

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I personally wouldn't take the variation. That photo just happens to show it. I posted the pic because someone wanted to know what the catwalk was. My question about the runout is a completely seperate issue and has to do with the route marked in red only. If the runouts are basically long snow slopes I'd feel more comfortable bringing someone less experienced along.

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In the photo it shows the standard route cutting left, and then taking the catwalk back up and right. I never cut left...I stayed on the ridge the whole way up, doing 3rd and 4th class "mixed climbing" where necessary, which obviously includes the "catwalk", and was the funnest way to possibly go. At the steepest, it was snow to 50 degrees, as is the other left variation(shown in photo) which I did last year.

This route is a slog, what makes it interesting is covering 7,400 vertical feet in a day, going from 300 ft. to 14,100 feet in a short amount of time, and dealing with winds in excess of 100 mph.

As for the "run-outs" hellno3d.gif, and taking someone "less experienced" only you can decide what you are comfortable with.

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I'm trying to understand why you'd take the variation. Yeah it's steeper to stay higher and closer to the ridge, but in terms of greater objective hazards, it seems like more work for nominal gain.


No expert but I'd guess the variation might hold snow longer than the regular rte later in the season. I'd take it if it meant avoiding the PNW volcanic scree shit and being able to climb on good ol snow.

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