Friday night six of us headed toward Shasta with intention to climb Casaval Ridge. We agreed to meet on Bunny Flat at 8 AM Saturday morning. But it turns out that we choose the same turn out of Everitt Memorial Highway to sleep the rest of the night. In the morning it was a surprise to discover Anthony and Blagoya sleeping right next to us. Another surprise was waited for us on Bunny Flat where we met Dee Both.
We left trail head at about 9 AM. Weather was unsettled and we were slowly making our way towards Horse Camp. That is where first portion of snow crashed on us. Later we were hit with snow gusts, white outs and strong wind. We manage to get to 10300 feet and camp there. The snow conditions on the ridge were good. Crampons were useful especially on steep slopes. I wore snowshoes all the way up to the camp but others used crampons. There is fair amount of rock is exposed on the ridge. Unfortunately few well protected camp sites where taken and we had to setup tents in more windy spots. Arun discovered a small quite place on the edge of the ridge and we used to cook and hide from the wind. On Saturday night visibility was great and we saw people all over Avalanche Gulch (talk about avalanche danger) but northwest side looked depressive. Strong northwest wind was blowing without a break all night long. I woke at 4 AM Sunday morning and went outside to check the weather. At first clouds covered only top of the mountain but they quickly lowered to about 12000 feet. I spend about an hour watching mountain but things were just getting worse. Finally I got cold enough to get back in tent. We broke camp couple of hours after sun lighted the ridge. Wind was stimulating quick packing. On the way down few hundred feet above Horse Camp one of our team sprained ankle and that slowed our decent rate significantly. We were back in Bay Area at 8 PM.
Participants: Anthony Stegman, Blagoya, Olga Meydbray, Mike Gonodanov and Maxym Runov.
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