Okay, so maybe it was more like 7.5 days, but who’s counting! Either way, we’re stoked to splitboard and climb 3 major volcanoes within the Cascade Range here in such a short amount of time. Russell ‘Russman’ Cunningham and myself (Paul Stanley) were able to successfully and safely climb and ride all 3 peaks during the week; Mt. Baker, Mt. Shasta, and Mt. Adams. Each trip we we’re joined by various friends and we couldn’t have been more stoked to have them come along!
First up was Mt. Baker. Sitting at 10,781 ft (3,286 m), Mt. Baker is one of the snowiest places on planet Earth and the most heavily glaciated mountain in the lower 48 United States. We enjoyed the company of one of our summer helpers in the Karakoram shop, Russell #2 (aka Rusty) as well as our friends Theresa and Gabe. On the climb up we had some fairly interesting crevasse crossings that we didn’t anticipate, but due to the lack of snowfall this winter the mountain was quite broken up already. We roped up to get to the summit and soon after had a fun group ride back down. Here are some photos from our day:
Next up we were slated to climb Mt. Shasta down toward the southern end of the Cascade Range. Shasta, at 14,179 feet (4,322 m) is the 2nd highest peak in the Cascade Range, Mt. Rainier being the highest. Making the trip down we had both Russell #1, Russell #2, Mike, Paul, and Bryce. We we’re also thrilled to be joining an epic crew of old friends, new friends and mountain lovers from all around. Huge thanks to Seth Lightcap, Jeremy Jones and the entire Jones Snowboards family for gathering together for a great time in the mountains. Certainly a fun way to transition into the summer months and be a part of a fun group of passionate, like-minded people. Splitboarding up was a blast with such a large group. Some approaching clouds made things a little interesting, but at the summit everyone that made the trek was greeted by a portal of sunlight, smiles, cheers, hugs, laughter, high fives and all around stoke! We had ourselves a little party up top before riding the party wave all the way back down the Hotlum-Wintun route in some excellent corn snow. From the climbing, to the riding, to the camping and even the long drives, we had a ton of fun!
Last but definitely not least, Russell and I made the decision to try and push to do one more volcano before the weeks end. Not sure if we had it in us, we thought we’d give it a go and boy were we glad we did. Absolute perfect weather accompanied us for the two day trip. We had our sights set on not only climbing Mt. Adams (12,281 ft/3,743 m) but descending a massive line off the top as well that made the climb even more worth doing despite our lack of energy after already having climbed Baker and Shasta just days prior. Joining us on this trip were Mike and our friends Adam, Saign and Theresa. Another solid crew of awesome people! The climb was a mix of skinning and rock scrambling in between. All in all it was a nice and relatively safe route to the top before our big descent. What a great way to cap off an epic week of volcano madness! (More details, photos and video of our descent in the next blog post, stay tuned!)
What an incredible week it was! Over 22,000 feet of vertical gain at high elevations and in the heat of summer. Congratulations to everyone out there splitboarding on the volcanoes this spring and summer in the Cascade Range. Nice to see folks not fully giving up on winter even after a season like we just had!
Photos and words: Paul ‘Bagels’ Stanley
Additional Photos: Chris Gallardo (www.splitboard.com) & Dave Campbell