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Raingoat

Where to re-gain Casaval Ridge on Shasta?

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Does anyone know what elevation you can re-gain Casaval Ridge from Avalanche Gulch on Mt. Shasta? I hope to climb the route in a couple of weeks and was looking for some alpha on how to get back to camp on the ridge (without going to the base of the ridge). (GPS coordinates would be a bonus!) Thanks.

 

Tim

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hey man check with the rangers... we were plannign on the north side and they said that the avy conditios were pretty crappy....good luck and see ya there [big Grin]

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Yeah, we're planning on checking with the rangers, but I thought someone here might know better. What route on the north side are you doing? Something off the Hotlum Glacier?

 

Tim

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I'm not entirely sure what you mean here. We took the ridge route from the start. Camped around 9,000 ft. or so due to late start. Lots of camp sites built between there and 10,000. Then you just follow the ridge, staying below and left of it as I recall. Then you hit Misery Hill. Does this help?

 

We never roped up. Were I to do it again, I would take aluminum crampons and a light axe. Maybe a short rope and light harness just in case, but that's it. Have fun!

 

John Sharp

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We are planning on descending Avalanche Gulch, after climbing the ridge. Getting back onto the ridge to return to camp at 10,000 ft. is the challenge. Did you descend the ridge or the gulch?

 

(I made it to about 13,500 ft. a couple of years ago on the ridge and didn't carry a rope or harness. I think the same is in order for this year.)

 

Tim

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There are multiple places to easily regain the ridge to return to your camp. Most will be self explanitory when you see the ridge from avalanche gulch. You can scout these on the ascent too.

 

The only problem you might have is if the weather limits visibility, evne then it shouldn't be too bad (unless there is a complete white out - of course).

 

Good luck..post a TR.

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Ditto to Rodchester's message. We did the ridge 3 years ago. Camped at 10000ft. Like everyone else, we did not use a rope. Mainly because it was very windy and we thought that with the wind noise that we would not hear a partner's fall and so we would all be pulled off (3 of us). Crossing back over the ridge from Avy Gulch was pretty easy and I think that it could be done safely in several spots even with low visibility. We started our traverse to the ridge crossing well above Helen Lake as we did not want to lose elevation and have to climb back up. As I recall, the traversing got sort of tiring due to snow conditions below the ridge. One foot would stay on top and then the next would posthole.

 

BTW, I was in the Gulch last weekend and Casaval Ridge at that time was reported (by the Rangers) to be in very good shape. Our climb did not go due to snowfall overnight. Have a good climb!

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JuanTwoPunch aka Juan aka Mr. Goodtime aka Mr. Blister here:

 

We walked down the Casaval Ridge too. Was your reason for going down Avalanche Gulch so you can ski? There is nothing tricky about the Casaval Ridge, and you could get a few turns in on it, though there would be lots of side-hilling too.

 

Have fun, and give us a report.

 

John Sharp

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I recommend climbing the route in a day and not camping. We left the parking lot at around 1AM climbed Casaval and were back at the car after descending the regular (Avy) route by 2 PM. I was not in great shape and didn't have much difficulty and don't remember feeling particulary "wasted" when we drove back to San Fran that afternoon.

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I'll send a TR upon return. Hadn't thought of down climbing the ridge, though I suppose if the couple of steep sections are not too bad for the group then we'll consider it. Thanks all for the input.

 

Tim

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Depends on where you camp. If you camp at 9'500 at at nice notch, descend A. Gulch to Lake Helen. Take a right. You'll end up right near camp, but you need to pick a way thru the ridge.

 

Same if you camp higher. The highest campsites are a bit over 10k, maybe 10,300. So, you need to start your traverse a bit above Lake Helen. Then pick out a notch to clamber back onto the west side of the ridge thru and traverse back to camp.

 

I'd stay at the 9'500 notch, as it's protected from the wind better and is easier to hit on the way down. Plus you can drop straight off the camp down to the cowpath to Bunny Flats without tromping down the ridge.

 

Yeah, YOU had better take the gps. [big Grin]

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