Mt Shasta 2018 – pushing through…


Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.

Jack Kerouac

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June 2, 2018

So this story really starts with a bucket of fried chicken…

Our group consisted of PK, Aaron, Pat and myself on a marathon tour from Truckee to the summit of Mt. Shasta and back home in about 30 hours door to door.  We drove up to the mountain Friday night and awoke just before sunrise to start the climb.

I knew this crew was strong and fast so I was mentally preparing for a quick push to the top. Unfortunately, my stomach immediately informed me that things were not well. Many early mornings of climbing days can feel queasy and restless with unsettled feelings until you get moving; so I tried to push the nausea and multiple trips to the trailhead pit toilet aside as the jitters. It wasn’t until we were out on the snow that  I realized that something was wrong…

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Shasta2018 -3We had stopped for food the night before and fried chicken (on sale!) was my choice from the grocery deli…. ? Anyways, I had a very difficult time with nausea and vomiting (and other issues…) while climbing, and my working hypothesis is the food the night before. I haven’t been so close to pulling the plug, heading back down and waiting at the truck for the guys before… I’m just kinda stubborn.

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We were rewarded with a gorgeous, perfect June day to climb and ski this California classic. We started at the Brewer Creek Trailhead climbing the Wintun Glacier from the East side of the peak. We took the more direct chute to the summit on the climber’s right towards the top of the glacier which offered great views down at the featured Hotlum Glacier.

Aaron and Pat
Summit style. A beautiful day from the top…

It was a gorgeous day on the summit with mild breeze, moderate temps. We casually geared up and headed back down. Pat and Aaron had their eyes on a line over the top of the Hotlum Glacier. They traversed in over the bergschrund, aired and arced smooth turns into the bowl below. PK and I opted for the more classic line down the gut of the Wintun Glacier which offered up smooth and seemingly endless corn skiing.


Needless to say I was especially proud of not throwing in the towel and heading back down on this one, despite the terrible GI distress. The funny thing is the only other time that I skied Shasta was 10-12 years ago and I think some Mexican food and margaritas late the night before an alpine start left me feeling very similarly back then… I’d like to say ‘live and learn’… but I guess maybe I just won’t. 🙂

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PK’s first turns off the summit with Lassen in the distance

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See the truck down there? Thousands of feet of great corn skiing

We had truly ideal weather and conditions and a beautiful ascent and descent of such an iconic peak. Another excellent day spent in the mountains with great people. Well done, gentlemen!


Add yours →

  1. It was an awesome day there yesterday! Love your posts. fyi The pics skiing down are of the Wintun not the Hotlum. And I think you went up between the Hotlum and Wintun, so climbers left of Hotlum, and no views of Bolum


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