Mt. Shasta, north side

June 26-28, 1981

As the Japanese say about Fujiyama, there are two classes of fools—those who have never climbed the mountains and those who have climbed it twice. The same might be said for this route—“Once is enough!”

The North side of Shasta is very dry, obviously in a rain shadow. We walked mostly through sand, boulders, and many dead trees until reaching snowline at 10,000 feet. The first day was involved in driving to the mountain and hiking to high camp at 9,000 feet. Leaving camp at 5:00 a.m. Saturday, we were on Bolam glacier by 7:30 a.m. Ascending for several hours in the blazing sun, we left the glacier at about 13,000', turned to the right to avoid rockfall above, and then ascended another 1,000' or so through mixed snow and scree, reaching the summit at 3:30 p.m.

While descending from high camp on the third day, we discovered another road that might have enabled us to drive 1,000 feet higher on the mountain. I don’t plan to return to find out. A small group this time consisting of Terry Smith and leader Jack Nitzel.


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