We first read about The Gear Junkie’s trip to Mt. Shasta a month ago. However, he’s written up a more detailed report for the New York Times. The article is a good reminder that bad weather can be dangerous on any mountain, and that you should never underestimate the challenges of climbing.
Gear Junkie, a.k.a. Stephen Regenold, set off with a friend to make an early Spring summit on Shasta, which is a 14,162-foot stratovolcano located in Norther California. The mountain is the second tallest peak in the Cascades Range, trailing only Mount Rainier by a few hundred feet. It’s an excellent climb for beginning mountaineers, and thousands take out permits each year to give it a go.
When GJ set out, the weather was beautiful, and for most of the first day’s climb, the weather was warm and sunny. But that all changed late in the day as they approached camp. The winds picked up, clouds moved in, and fresh snow began to drop, covering the trail and making the climb a lot more challenging. From there, things went from bad to worse, with the jet stream bring 100 mph winds down onto the mountain and an avalanche occurred not far from camp as well.
Moral of the story, as always when you climb, prepare for the unexpected. Be safe, and know when it’s time to go up and when it’s time to get off the mountain.
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