In late June I was having dinner with Rigby, Dave Simone, and our significant others. They casually mentioned at the end of the meal that they would be climbing Mt. Shasta in about 4 weeks. I was immediately interested, inquired about getting involved, and began to implement a strict training plan of doing absolutely nothing until about a week before flying to California.
Twice I loaded my pack with 55lbs and walked the stairs in my apartment building. Basement to 14 and back x10. I took steps and practiced math. My pack wouldn't be this heavy on the mountain... but I'm exercising at sea level. The mountain won't be this steep (wrong). One trip up from the basement to the top floor is 153 steps. Ten trips up and down the stairs is about a quarter mile. Each step is about 10 inches. The whole hike is only 5 miles. How many Mt. Shasta climbs is this exercise routine equal to? If ten trips up and down the stairs take me 45 minutes and the climb takes most people 7 hours, how am I pacing? I'll be taking it easier than this when I'm on the mountain. I'll stop for water breaks. The scenery will be motivating. There aren't enough substitute scenarios and unlikely 5th grade mathematics word problems to prepare the underprepared. I didn't train enough.
I arrived at SFO at midnight on Wednesday before Friday's climb. I slept on the floor of a van for about 2 hours, followed by another four on the floor of a hotel room.
Meet the twins.
Rigby, the annoyingly prepared climbing darkhorse.
no, these two aren't one full length photo, but they might as well be.
first views of Mt. Shasta
A quick stop at The Fifth Season in Shasta City to pick up ice axes, helmets, gaiters, and wag bags. Shasta city is a quiet little place with all the Twin Peaks similarities you could really want and expect. Diners, friendly service, motels, a feeling of 1982, and a woman who will read your aura located in a tent under the cover of an old gas station. Crystals are like chips you put into computers. We just don't know how to read them yet. The Global Assignment. Activate the 13th Crystal Skull. Everyday dinner conversation stuff.
there she is
Lacing up in the parking lot, I snapped a shoelace before hiking one single step.
Kayes had rope.
a wolf howl
entering the campsite area
confusion about where to camp sets in. beauty surrounds.
last minute research for trivial things like "where is the trail?"
the twins are very much into (partial) nudity
we went to bed at 10:30pm and woke up at 1:30am to begin the summit attempt. we weren't big on sleep during this trip.
Lassen Volcano in the center (as seen from Mt. Shasta)
The Big Dipper directly above Mt. Shasta
sunrise at about 10,200 ft.
dude is way too happy and energetic
shed blood on that mountain.
The Dixie 6.
Yuichi (Kayes) remains stoic.
Lassen Volcano at midday (as seen from Mt. Shasta)
descending felt like it took about 3 hours longer than it should have
checking in. confirming survival.