Mt. Shasta via North Side

July 4-6, 1980

One reason the group did not make the summit was because, like Billy Pilgrim in Slaughterhouse Five, the leader had become unstuck in time — past, present and future were all mixed up. He last climbed this route 13 years ago, and thought everything would still be the same. We relied on his memory of the network of jeep roads to approach the mountain, not knowing that a new road had been constructed which would have saved much time and bushwhacking.

After a difficult elevation gain, we established high camp at 8400 ft., which was a disappointment, since we had hoped to reach the moraine at 10,000 ft.

Starting at 7 a.m. the next morning, admittedly too late a start, we plowed our way up the scree slopes, reaching snow at 10,000 ft. But at 11,000 ft., we reached mixed scree and snow, making travel extremely difficult, especially in a wind gusting at 50 mph.

By 3:00 p.m. the group was becoming tired, still below the summit at 14,000 ft. So by common consent, the group turned back. I believe this trip was too late in the season. Two weeks earlier most of the scree would have been covered with snow, making travel considerably easier.

Those climbing were Susan Anderson, Dick Hildreth, John Hermannsson, Glenn Meares, Lotte Mueller, Jack Nitzel (leader), Pat Smith and Paula West.


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