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Joa

Shasta- Avalanche Gulch

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Climbed this route with three of my kids (10/11/13) last week. It's in great shape and this is a good time of year to climb. We brought crampons but didn't use them since we started early enough that the snow was grippy on the way up and we came off the summit late enough that most of the descent was glissading. The steep section through the Red Band was very straightforward with good ice axe work (snow soft enough to protect off your axe stuck deep in the snow).

 

Left Bunny Flat at 2:30 AM and summited in just under 8 hrs. Got behind some slow guys on the way down so it ended up being a 13 hr round trip. Only one other guy did the climb from the parking lot, everyone else we met camped at Lake Helen.

 

It was our first time on the mountain and each kid's highpoint and with the plentiful glissading on the way down we all had a ball. The kids want to do Rainier later this year so they're pretty hooked on the higher stuff.

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Wow, that is an impressive effort for your kids (and you herding them along)! Inspiring, as I have two boys, 3 & 5. who I try to get out in the hills as much as possible.

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Thanks for the kind words.

 

We start our kids in a backpack very young and then when they beg to walk let them for a while until they show that they're tired before we put them back in. Pretty soon they're hiking entire trails. And upward from there.

 

I'm a firm believer that kids can do far more than we think they can if we give them proper support and training.

 

One of our best tricks is a "no negative hiking talk " rule that we all follow closely. Works great with the kids to keep them more positive.

 

Plus plenty of nutrition and hydration stops with a few foods that they normally don't eat at home (candy bars, Little Debbie snacks, etc).

 

We have a big family so gear costs a lot but I always tell my wife, "We're investing in our grandparenthood," since we hope to have lots of grandkids to keep us young and climbing/hiking/skiing through our senior years. My personal inspiration is Fred Beckey in that regard. I see pictures of him still sending it at 90 yrs old and am completely amazed.

 

Good stuff :)

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