Avg: 2.7 from 15 votes
|Type:||Snow, Alpine, 7500 ft (2273 m), Grade III|
|Page Views:||2,030 total · 30/month|
|Shared By:||bgirer on Apr 27, 2016|
|Admins:||Aron Quiter, Lurker -, Muscrat, Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Vicki Schwantes, Justin Johnsen|
Variation: To avoid climbing the steep chute at the beginning of the route, you can stay on the right side of it and climb into the 'bowl' between Casaval Ridge and the ridge that separates it from West Face Gully. From here you can traverse this ridge into West Face Gully at ~11,000-11,200'. Depending on the place where you traverse the ridge, snow can be angled at 40-50 degrees, but only for a short while (50-100').
Gully steepens up to 35-40 degrees as it approaches obvious red outcrops of Fang Rock (~12,500'). Depending on the time of the year, top of the gully can be covered with or free of snow. If snow is there, go straight up to the top of the face. If snow in the upper section of the gully has melted, continue on carefully through the talus and avoid walking directly above the snow field. Talus is VERY LOOSE in there and one can accidentally drop rocks on other parties in the gully! This will take you to the saddle on the top of the face at ~13,300'. Good place to rest and take a break before the final summit push!
From the top of the face, you should see the upper section of Whitney Glacier, Misery Hill and the summit. From here, continue climbing the ridge on the right side, and cross Whitney Glacier (no crevasses here as far as I know) to get to the bottom of Misery Hill. It will involve some downclimbing (100-200'). Snow on this side of Misery Hill is melting by June/early July. You can continue straight up the Misery Hill (cross-country) or go around its base to the right until you reach more established trail from the Avalanche Gulch route.
On the top of Misery Hill, this route is merging with the one from Avalanche Gulch and continues to the summit through the summit plateau.
After taking the left turn, trail will continue for 1.5 miles and traverse the West side of the mountain until it reaches Hidden Valley (9,200'). Trail conditions are average to good with some loose talus along the way. You may be required to traverse several snow fields angled at 20-40 degrees. Usually this snow melts by early August. It is much easier to cross these snow fields early in the day before snow gets too soft.
Best place to camp is in the middle of Hidden Valley. When Valley is fully covered with snow (usually until late July-early August)), look for last rock outcrops before the slope angle starts increasing towards the base of the West face. Later in the season, you should be able to find several well-protected tent spots on the rocky ground.
Most of the Shasta guide books recommend the rope for the upper headwall, but I did not find it necessary.