A couple weeks ago JimW invited Tyler and me to join the California splitboard crew on their trip to Shasta. We jumped at the opportunity to check out a little more of the California split scene and also invited Russell to join. 50+ emails later the plan on where we were touring was still in flux, but we hit the road anyway.
We just finished our new crampon concept around 5 pm Thursday and were looking forward to testing them out on the frozen late spring corn. Despite finishing building the prototype crampon and hoping to be in bed at a reasonable hour before the Friday drive down, we couldn’t break with tradition. True to Kloster form we were up late again, but this time it was to help Russell complete his DIY split Nitro Pantera. Sick looking SPLIT!
Friday morning we packed and hit the road for Lassen National Park. After about 8 hours of driving, Shasta came into view.
11 hours in and we were finally at Lassen National Park as the sun was setting.
We were the first to arrive at the Devastated Area trail head so we made dinner and went to bed.
Morning came too quickly as we all started moving around 6:00 am. Our crew consisted of Jim (Jimw), Storn (Sanfrantastico), Josh (jbaysurfer), Dave (Fullers2oh), Darren (powderjunkie), Russell (russman), Tyler and myself. We started the tour around 7:30 am.
The approach to Lassen Peak was pretty easy.
We crossed a huge avalanche run out,
skinned on dirt,
skied past a natural stone obolisk,
cruised up to the north shoulder,
snapped some pictures of Shasta,
and then got pelted with marble sized ice balls flying in the 50-60 mph winds.
We continued up to about 9,200 ft but decided the wind was too strong to continue up the ridgeline. The decision was made to descend in to the bowl where the winds were not as strong. Darren and Dave continued up a little higher, and had some fun with the wind… losing a helmet, a backpack and one ski of a splitboard.
The snow on the descent was perfect corn.
Storn enjoying the snow conditions.
Tyler cruising back into the bowl.
Josh having some fun.
After moving out of the wind, the group divided up to ascend different parts of Lassen Peak. Tyler and I went up to hit a cool looking narrow rock line and the rest of the group boot packed up the center of Lassen Peak to the summit.
I reached the top of the line I was aiming to ride and snapped a photo of Storn and Russell on the summit.
I took another photo looking down my line and then dropped in.
This was my first time on a Jones Solution and man was it a fun ride.
After my run down I snapped some pictures of everyone else descending.
Darren ripping down a ridge.
Storn, Josh, and Dave dropping in.
Jim surfing the corn snow.
Russell with one of the coolest lines of the day.
Tyler on a tight melt out line and showing off his fine ski pole attachment technique.
I reluctantly let Tyler give the Jones Solution a try on the last 1500 ft of Lassen Peak. I think he was enjoying his first run on the Solution. SLASH!
The whole crew heading back to the trailhead.
The original plan was to have a quick easy day on Lassen and then summit Mt. Shasta on Sunday, but our day on Lassen ended up going a little longer than expected. We ended up getting back to the car around 5:00 pm. After drying out our gear and resting a bit we packed the truck and headed up to Shasta arriving around 9:30. Dinner took a little longer than expected and we finally got to Bunny Flat trailhead at 11:30. Because of the long day and the late hour, half of the group decided to bail on the 2:00 am summit departure. Jim, Storn, Darren, and Dave some how managed to get out of bed with 2 hours of sleep and went for the summit.
Josh, Russell, Tyler and I decided to sleep-in until 7:30, which was a great decision.
Russell and I rolling out of our tents.
We moved a bit slow and didn’t leave Bunny Flat until 10:30 am. Our line choice for the day was Green Butte.
The skin up was exciting. Josh, Russell and Tyler were trying a new skinning technique…
I had some hotspots coming on, so the duct tape came out to save the day and kept my ankles from blistering.
Just before we got to the top of Green Butte we saw Storn ripping down the Avalanche Gully (he is the little dot to the left of Josh).
On the way up we found a cool looking chute to ride into Powder Bowl, so we pushed up to the top of Green Butte and rode down a ridge into Powder Bowl.
Josh was the first drop the chute and ripped the center line.
I dropped in next and went for a little rock dodging.
Russell went next.
Tyler came down last, hoping to hit the tightest rock line but figured out how steep the wall was when he was actually on it.
After riding the cool little chute we decided it was a little too warm for a second lap so we goofed around on the mellow terrain heading into the mossy trees bellow.
Russell airing a little wind lip.
Tyler buttering the Jones Solution.
Russell with a rail grab.
Josh ripping down.
The cool mossy trees.
We got down to the road and skied back to the cars.
It turns out our choice to stay low was reaffirmed as we saw four helicopters come in to take away injured climbers from a morning icefall. The summit group aborted their route up Avalanche Gully and went for the west face (bowl?) to get away from the crazy crowds.
After a great weekend of riding we hit the road around 3:30, for our 9 hour drive back to Snoqualmie, WA.
Portland with the sun setting.
Another amazing trip!