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Shasta Area Rambles

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avatar Shasta Area Rambles
July 28, 2014 01:14PM
Had a wedding to go to in Portland, and a week later some obligations near Red Bluff, so it was the perfect opportunity to go road tripping and to try to knock off a couple of county high points that I had yet to do...Mt Eddy and the mighty Mt Shasta. I drove down from Portland last Wednesday through the rain that somewhat magically started to dissipate when I crossed the border into California. Checked into the Forest Service facility in Mt Shasta City for the latest and greatest information, and headed off to the Deadfall Lakes trailhead on the PCT where it crosses the Trinity Heritage National Scenic Byway west of Mt Shasta City. As I was packing my pack at the trailhead, a couple of northbound PCT'ers walked past and asked "what day is it?". Isn't that the great thing about long backpack trips?
Leaving the trailhead at about 4:30, I headed out south on the PCT. It is a 6 mile hike to the top of Mt Eddy, where I planned to spend a couple of nights enjoying the view, taking a few pictures, and finishing a book I had brought along. The trail is actually pretty flat for most of the way into the Deadfall Lakes, which are surprisingly much prettier than their name suggests. The Deadfall Lake Basin:

While poking around near the biggest of the lakes, I came across a steep boggy seep with some coneflowers that I had to check out, and stumbled across some California Pitcher plant, a carnivorous species. Fortunately I was able to escape with my life.

Here is Mt Eddy with one of the Upper Deadfall Lakes in the foreground:

Arriving at the top of Mt Eddy, I set up camp

and enjoyed a wonderful sunset view of Shasta

And awoke the next morning to an even better pre-sunrise view...with the post-storm wind from the north having blown in some clouds lower down:

Thursday was a sunny day, but the wind was relentless at the top of Eddy so I decided to retreat to a lower elevation, heading to my car to explore some backroads the rest of that day, as well as the next.

Saturday I was up at 4 and at Shasta's Clear Creek trailhead with pack on at 5:30. In reading about climbing Shasta for years, I had always assumed that I would do the trip around Memorial Day, taking the usual route up from Bunny Flat on snow, with crampons and ice ax. More recently, when thinking about this trip, I had thought that I might join a group and head up via Glacier on the north side. But reading on the Forest Service website about the Clear Creek access, I became convinced that it was the best choice for me at this time of year, providing a route that I could do solo and be flexible with timing, as I wanted to have a perfect weather day.
The mountain with the first rays of the sun on it

Lots of folks were camped at the springs a couple of miles in. The tents are visible:

There is nice, cold, clear water flowing straight out of the mountain here.

And while there was plenty of scree to contend with, I found the trail/use trail to be not nearly as slippery going up as I had been worried about. There are definite "up" use trails and definite "down" use trails...the downs are sandy slides, while the ups, if you can find them, provide pretty decent footing as they switchback their way up. A typical view up:

This little section of snow just before the summit block was, sadly, the only snow I had to cross

I ate lunch and enjoyed the view from the summit before heading down. It was a perfect day. I recall reading somewhere that the "trail" was 4 miles (straight up) from the trailhead. My GPS gave me a total trip length of 13 miles (round trip) with about 7600 feet of elevation gain.

And now, well I happen to be in Corning for a couple of days. Lots of big olives around here, including this one:

All of the trip pictures are here.
Re: Shasta Area Rambles
July 28, 2014 02:57PM
Nice report. I also enjoyed the olive.
avatar Re: Shasta Area Rambles
July 28, 2014 06:00PM
I ate lunch and enjoyed the view from the summit before heading down. It was a perfect day. I recall reading somewhere that the "trail" was 4 miles (straight up) from the trailhead. My GPS gave me a total trip length of 13 miles (round trip) with about 7600 feet of elevation gain.

Prolly got cliffed out a few times... and walked in a few circles...

tongue sticking out smiley

Are you sure you didn't go up the east peak n miss anudder county high point?

of course I jest ... congrabulashuns

Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Shasta Area Rambles
July 28, 2014 06:47PM
Chick-on's dig at me (well deserved, I might add) relates to the part of the story I didn't admit too...on my way north I got going early, and stopped near Calistoga to bag the high point of Napa County. I was in a hurry, quickly dashed to the top of Mt St. Helena, and completed the drive to Portland that same day with, I thought, another high point completed. A day later realized that I had bypassed the Napa County high point which was the slightly lower Mt St Helena east. Oh well, another excuse for a hike.
Re: Shasta Area Rambles
July 30, 2014 10:21AM
Enjoyed reading this! Nutjobs I was hiking with these past two weeks are wanting to do Shasta. Some of have already done, but sounds like at least a subset of us will finally go for it. I'm going to have to do more research, and as I say, the mountain and weather will tell us what is best. I actually like the sound of what you did!
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