DISTANCE
10.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
7,139 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

cross country skiing

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

views

wild flowers

rocky

scramble

snow

off trail

no shade

no dogs

backpacking
26 days ago

Oh man this is a site to see! Mt Shasta is one of the most beautiful mountains I've ever seen. She rises above and can be seen from miles away. Went up the second weekend in June and the forecast was not looking great (95 mph wind gusts at Lake Helen) but after chatting with the folks at Fifth Season, we decided Shasta always has a mind of her own. Was pretty cloudy the drive up the 5 and we couldn't see Shasta until about half an hour away. When we first got to Bunny flat, there was a nice lenticular cloud obscuring her summit, the aliens were landing! We started the trek up in full gear which was pretty damn warm. It started cooling off at about Horse Camp and some snow flurries settled in. The hike up to Lake Helen gave me a run for my money. I'm a pretty avid hiker but this was my first alpine summit attempt and damn I need to work on my endurance. We didn't encounter snow until probably half a mile before Lake Helen so it was all scree scrambling which drains your energy fast. Once we hit snow it was a little better but as the pitch increased it was hard to get good footing on soft snow. I had the old plastic shell Scarpas and they did a number on my shins and every step I wished that I had brought trekking poles. Once we reached Lake Helen the winds picked up and temps were dropping. Got pretty cold at night, dropping down to maybe 17 F. Heard some climbers head out at 2:30 am but with the cold we decided the snow would be okay a little later. I decided to hold off on a summit attempt as my boots were giving me too much trouble so I wasn't trusting my footing. The two others in my group made a summit attempt but clouds set in densely about 3/4 to Red Bluffs and winds were gusting at about 50 mph, so most climbers descended. Definitely will be heading back next spring with more preparation!