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  1. #1
    TxAggie's Avatar
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    Mt Shasta / Lassen Volcano Suggestions

    My daughter is currently going to school out in northern CA, and weíve made it a goal to backpack every spring that sheís out there. This past April we spent three days in Hetch Hetchy and had a great time.

    This spring, she asked if we can do Shasta or Lassen. Iíve been trying to do some research on both areas, and while Iím finding a little info on trails I canít find anything on how accessible hammock camping is as either location. Shasta looks to have a nice tree line circling the mountain, but from videos itís hard to confirm that hammock camping is a viable option. Lassen looks hit or miss depending on what trail youíre on.

    Can anyone give any insight on either of these so far as hammock camping goes, or would a tent be better suited for both? I have tents available, but my daughter has really taken to hammock camping and Iíd like to continue teaching her the craft.

    Thanks for any Intel.

    Joe

  2. #2
    cougarmeat's Avatar
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    Depends on if you are planning to Summit Mt. Shasta. If you are, you will be staying way above the treeline for your assent. Some years back, this was my experience ...

    Bob Speik and I left Bend OR early in the morning, drove to Shasta CA, and on to the parking lot for the summit hike. At that time - probably also now - there was a clear, "Take ALL your stuff off the mountain" policy. To that end, they distributed, free of charge, Wag Bags - bags to put poo in. It was a complete kit. You had two zip lock bags; the outer one was opaque. Two amounts of kitty litter - one for the inner ziplock bag and the second as security for inside the outer bag. And a large square of paper that had, amazing but true, a bullseye printed in the middle.

    You deposit any used kit back at the trailhead parking lot. Now that was years ago. These days they have better commercial versions of the same thing but maybe - because there is expense involved - the ones they give away are still the kitty litter formula.

    Note that after you get above the trees there is mostly just snow. So you can't be too shy. I'm not saying you won't have any privacy - and there might be something at the established base camp.

    So you hike from the parking lot to Lake Helen at 10400 ft. Except it isn't a "water" lake; it's full of snow. I believe there's a ranger/first aid tent there. So climbers set up camp - I just used a bivi bag on a ccf pad with a therm-a-rest inside the bivi.

    Your own experience will tell you when it's time to get up and climb to 14180 (about 3780 ft). I used to leave between 1 - 3 AM on my climbs. There was no worry about finding my way up. I was passed by everyone; adults, kids, dogs. I'm old; I don't "run" up mts. anymore. But THIS IS IMPORTANT WHEN COMING DOWN - you don't take off your crampons and glissade until you are BELOW a region called, "Red Rocks".

    On my way down, I saw a guy clearly guiding a small group and I got him aside and asked if he'd mind if I followed behind at a polite distance. He said he didn't mind if I just sort of became part of the group down. YMMV. I asked if there was an issue with falling rocks at the Red Rock area and he said it was falling people. And sure enough, it was. We stopped below Red Rocks to take off our crampons for a safer glissade down several hundred feet. While we were sitting (on our pads) in the snow, bodies would come sliding by, out of control. See - it is very steep above Red Rocks and some people who just rent the required gear without actually learning how to use it can get sliding very fast. And at the edge of Red Rocks, there's about a six-foot drop so those going very fast go over that edge and get some air time. Now it's not like they go flying into space or drop into a crevasse. They are landing - a bit ungracefully - on a big snowfield. It's better to descend under control.

    You can summit, make it back to Lake Helen, and hike back to the parking lot in one (very early starting) day. Or you can hike down to the tree level (where there are restrooms) and spend the night there before driving out the next day. Remeber to drop off any "ziploc bags" you are bringing off the mountain in the appropriate, well-marked, bins.
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

  3. #3
    TxAggie's Avatar
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    Great info, thank you. I donít plan on attempting a summit, we donít have the necessary gear. Mainly looking at staying below tree line, at least for overnight portions. Do you know if below tree line is conducive to hammock camping?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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