July 21-23, 2006
We left Eugene around 1:30 p.m. Friday, July 21st and arrived at Shasta around 4:30. Had a nice dinner in town and slept overnight at Bunny Flat trailhead. Arose early around 6:30 a.m. and hit the trail around 8. After a brief stop at the Sierra Club cabin, we headed up Avalanche Gulch to Helen Lake and arrived around 11:30. Some early summiters were glissading down to Helen Lake as we arrived. We set up tents and throughout the afternoon had interesting conversations, with other climbers and a very helpful, informative ranger.
Got an early start Sunday morning around 4 a.m. and with a steady pace got to the Red Banks chutes around 8:30. Proceeded up Misery Hill and all in the group summited around 10 a.m. It was a beautiful, clear, sunny day with no wind on the summit, although there were some 15 climbers on the summit at once.
As we descended, the fun started as we entered one of the eastern chutes of the Red Banks. Our fearless climbing comrade, Chance Fitzpatrick, scouted the glissade chute, and off we all went following his lead. This was the best 2500 feet, 10 to 15 minute glissade I have ever had and it was like running a luge course. We all arrived at Helen Lake without an inch of down climbing.
After an hour or so to pack up, we glissaded a bit below Helen Lake and then hiked out back to the trailhead to welcome relief. This was an extremely fit and well balanced climbing group. Summiting were Barry Smith, Kelly Josephsen, and soon to be Obsidian, Amber Bell. Obsidians summiting were Ron Unger, Chance Fitzpatrick, my co-leader who is an excellent climb leader, Kim Sawyer, and Dick Snyder, leader.