Mt. Shasta

June 20, 1993

This has to be one of the great climbs of the summer! Everything came together — the weather, snow conditions and climbers — for a “peak experience”. We arrived at Bunny Flats, on the South Side (about 7000') early Saturday afternoon and climbed up Green Butte Ridge in hot sunshine. At about 9200' we dropped off the east side to a wonderful camp site, which we had all to ourselves. Unknown to us at the time, there were record numbers of tents at Lake Helen on the regular Avalanche Gulch route. The group consensus was to get an early start, and we did. At 12:50 am we left base camp with so many stars in the sky that they outlined the shape of the mountain. Once on the other side of the ridge, we picked up the route through Avalanche Gulch and made strong progress towards the Red Banks. As the snow got firmer we put on crampons and reached Misery Ridge as it got light. Beautiful fog batiks filled the world below us. The winds got stronger as we made the final pitch to the summit. At 7:20 am we were there, the first ones on top and all of America spread out around us in a 360-degree panorama. What a feeling: 12,163 feet! The wind gusts came dangerously close to blowing me off the summit, but we found shelter in the rocks for rest. On our glissade down the mountain we must have passed 40 climbers struggling up. By the time we got back to our tents, clouds had started to shroud the summit. We could only smile and congratulate ourselves for such a strong, wonderful and timely ascent. Climbers were Rich & Jan Anselmo, Michele & Tim McCall, Bill Montgomery and John Pegg (leader).


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