Mount Shasta (14,162 feet)

Mount Shasta (Avalanche Gulch, center, framed by Casaval Ridge on the left and Sargents Ridge/Green Butte on the right)

Mount Shasta, the lonely California Cascades 14ers, nestled way up there in northern California, is a striking, high volcano appealing to all climbers.

Mark Beauchamp and I drove up to Mount Shasta from Las Vegas for a climb of the mountain. Initially planning on a climb of Casaval Ridge from a camp just above Horse Camp, a last minute change of plans had us deciding to make camp at Horse Camp and climb Avalanche Gulch the following morning.
Avalanche Gulch, looking down on Helen Lake

Mark and I set up camp, taking extra time to establish a snow benches and whatnot for maximum comfort in this splendid, forested camp.

Rising early the next morning, we started up the mountain. The going was easy, with little in the way of technical difficulty, and we found ourselves at Red Banks before we knew it. Heading up Misery Hill, we soon crossed the flattish area below the top and walked to the summit. Success! There, we found Rob Yang, with whom we'd met up to get permits the day before and had originally intended to climb the mountain via Casaval.
Looking down on Thumb Rock from Misery Hill

On our return, we managed to hit a quick, 3,000-foot glissade, returning to Horse Camp to tear down our tent, and making it back to our vehicle three hours after we'd left the summit. What a ride!
The summit

*Photos courtesy of Rick Kent