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Trip Report    

Mount Shasta/Avalanche Gap

Start Location: Bunny Flat Trailhead
End Location: Bunny Flat Trailhead
Elevation Gain: 7300ft

General Activity Notes:
The timeframe planned for this trip was just right. The majority of the team left Friday morning and drove to Mount Shasta City by late afternoon. We camped at the McBride Springs campground, where there were still vacant sites even for a holiday weekend. A couple of our climbers came down a day early and secured a camp site for us. Saturday night we camped at Lake Helen, which was quite crowded. Met a climbing ranger who had been there for the previous two days. He provided a wealth of information about the upper route and what we could expect from guided groups. Sunday night we stayed at the Finlandia Lodge in Mount Shasta City. This was a great place to get a shower, eat, sleep, etc. Monday was a travel day back to Puget Sound.

Route conditions:
Snow from Horse Camp and beyond. Departed trailhead at Bunny Flat at 9:00am. Arrived at Horse Camp 9:55am. Arrived Lake Helen 1:05pm. Spent most of the afternoon making water. There was a good boot track up to and through the Red Banks and to the summit block. No route-finding issues. Good cramponing in the morning on Sunday. Departed camp at 3:15am and summited 8:15am. Back to camp by 10:40am. Departed camp at 12:25pm and returned to the trailhead at 2:15pm. Superb glissading below Red Banks and from Lake Helen much of the way to Horse Camp. There were probably 250 climbers on the route Sunday.

Permits required?
Mt Shasta climbing permit, $25 for three-day pass.

Driving / parking notes:
Parked along the road just outside the parking lot. On Sunday the parking lot was jammed and cars parked well down the approach road.

Equipment notes:
Carried and used ice axe, crampons. Carried rope and pickets but left them at Lake Helen, based on the report of climbing conditions from the climbing ranger.

Required Skills:
Snow scrambling skills.

Weather Notes:
Mostly sunny. Saturday afternoon there were some periods of low clouds that obscured the climbing route. Cold overnight that refroze the top crust. Sunday morning was clear and sunny. Some high clouds rolled in during the early afternoon.