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Holk

[TR] Mount Shasta - Casaval Ridge 5/8/2011

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Trip: Mount Shasta - Casaval Ridge

 

Date: 5/8/2011

 

Trip Report:

Note: originally a quick reply to a forum post, i decided to post individually due to multiple requests on casaval beta as of late, and thus it isn't too extensive.

 

I just soloed Casaval Ridge May 8th/9th and conditions couldn't have been more favorable! I believe it will be plenty good in shape come memorial day weekend and an excellent south route to miss the crowds. Nothing seemed much steeper than 35 degrees unless you were intentional about climbing it, and then you could encounter up to 50+.

 

I passed two gentlemen, Jard and Bryan, camping below the usual spot and I myself camped up atop that first ridge/toe (9,800ft). There are some dugouts currently, but the wind will keep you awake unless you carry some earplugs.

 

The 4th class rock annotated is easily avoidable, but it made for some fun with the crampons and tools (only about 30-40 feet high).

 

High camp is well sheltered and gives you a nice glimpse down into Helen Lake, but you would have to carry your gear up to 11,000ft.

 

The bottom photograph is taken from a video still when I was on the first catwalk - this is where you'll find the greatest exposure - it too is avoidable if you so choose.

 

casavalridge.jpg

 

Gear Notes:

Ditch the snowshoes. A second tool (venom's) was pleasant, but not necessary. No pro needed. Still loving my Canon G11 over the SLR.

 

Approach Notes:

Bunny Flat

Edited by Holk

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Nice TR.

Which route did you descend? The same? How was it?

 

I descended the West Face Gully, but it was a little early in the day to glissade down that route and thus it was quite painful. Regardless my crampons were already off and without them I couldn't walk down as it was too icy, so I would glissade 100ft sections at a time and rest my arms/chest/hip ... etc. before having another go at it.

 

At 10,000ft I traversed back over to Casaval Ridge and was back near the small 4th class rock section noted in the route image.

 

The ridge above 11,000ft on its Eastern aspect:

casavalridge-g11-47.jpg

 

Here I am feeling pretty beat up and happily at camp:

casavalridge-40.jpg

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Nice line. We got down there late night the 8th. We saw your tracks from where we skied down from 10700. Very pretty ridge! Nice photos.

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yeah. nice route, good profile of it. something I would enjoy in the future. love the pictures, glad you are happy with your new camera and its performance. just got a new cam (nex) myself, haven't had it out yet.

 

gearhead comments, lowa mnt experts? and dig the old style wool.

 

cheers

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gearhead comments, lowa mnt experts? and dig the old style wool.

 

cheers

 

Thanks Water!

The sweater was an old Dale from my late grandpa and it alongside a couple of icebreaker base-layers and my Norrona shell made for a perfect getup.

Unfortunately the shell tore badly along the zipper seam somewhere during the catwalk, but backcountry is going to refund me my full monies!

 

norrona.jpg

 

Those are the Lowa Mnt Exp boots. Excellent boots that are very comfortable, but the toes do eventually get wet in the slush.

However, so long as you keep moving they stay insulated. Overall I'm happy with them.

 

Jard and Bryan climbing what I assume everyone considers the beginning to the "wineglass/hourglass"...?

casavalridge-g11-55.jpg

Edited by Holk

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we climbed Casaval last weekend; I'd say it still has 3-4 more weeks of climbing season on it still. the snow this year is off the charts! Horse camp just barely has its roof poking out!

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Does anyone know if most of the route is still on snow and is it worth bringing skis up? Heading up the route on Friday. Thanks.

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is it worth bringing skis up?

 

My guess is you'll get plenty of use out of your skis on the west side, if not all of elsewhere. As 111 said, "the snow this year is off the charts!"

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Hey I'm planning on skiing Avalanch Gulch with some friends on the 30th or 1st. I don't really know anything about Shasta. Basically my only question is will be be able to skin from car to summit still?

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will be be able to skin from car to summit still?

 

You should be fine, but may have to walk in a mile? Although even that is doubtful. I would call the ranger station to find out exactly what the current snow pack is like: (530) 926-4511

 

Also consider West Face Gully as a good ski descent. You won't be dodging nearly as many bodies on your way down that side and you can easily cut over Casaval Ridge w/o having to regain if crossing around 11,000ft. Alternatively you could cross around 10,000ft with little gain, maybe 100ft or so.

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will be be able to skin from car to summit still?

 

You should be fine, but may have to walk in a mile? Although even that is doubtful. I would call the ranger station to find out exactly what the current snow pack is like: (530) 926-4511

 

Also consider West Face Gully as a good ski descent. You won't be dodging nearly as many bodies on your way down that side and you can easily cut over Casaval Ridge w/o having to regain if crossing around 11,000ft. Alternatively you could cross around 10,000ft with little gain, maybe 100ft or so.

 

Cool thanks! So Avalanch Gulch is pretty much busy any day I take it? Can't find my Cascades Guide with Shasta in it right now unfortuntaly :( but will def look into the West Face Gully.

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When you go will definitely make a big difference on what the masses look like. Really, Avy Gulch would be fine in the long run, but I think you'll have a better time over on WFG or around Casaval Ridge.

 

Some things to consider are that WFG may be a more appropriate ascent, since it'll remain firm longer, while Avy Gulch could end up being the proper ski descent, since it'll soften up sooner. Just depends on timing.

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Hey I'm planning on skiing Avalanch Gulch with some friends on the 30th or 1st. I don't really know anything about Shasta. Basically my only question is will be be able to skin from car to summit still?

 

Yes (as of yesterday). West Face Gully looked nice also (I went up Shastina). Way less people on that side (Hidden Valley and West Face Gully), not solitude by any means, but way less than Avalanche Gulch.

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