Thursday, June 11, 2009
Lassen Peak: Let's Hear It for Plan B
I am semi-bummed because we were rained out of our Shasta trip, but I admit to being kinda relieved too. It rained HARD all night long at Treva's in Redding on Wed night and we were supposed to leave Thur morning, but consulting the weather channel that morning showed the entire Western States under a cloud of rain and predicted to not lift until Sat.
More sobering were the thunderstorm predictions. If there is some place you do NOT want to be during a thunderstorm it would be on a mountain, especially when hanging on to an ice axe or trekking poles: "Here lightning lightning lightning, I have your favorite target right here." Well ok I could have been playing Golf on a mostly flat golf course, but still... I also decided that I didn't want to hang around in a wet 3 season tent as I like to climb in near perfect conditions (light snow falling is great, rain is not great at all). A 3 season tent is fine in the rain, but needs time to dry out - eventually it's going to soak through. I'll pass.
So it turned into a day trip to Lassen which was fun as the whole time we were in at least part of a cloud. Since it was a day trip and we were dressed for Shasta the weather just didn't matter (save for thunderstorms and there weren't any) and the rain became snow in just a few feet of elevation gain. that's right in June, snowing on Lassen at at just under 9000'. How cool is that? Patricia took a photo of me and since I was completely bundled up I was completely unrecognizable. She said I looked like a muppet.
We didn't get all the way up as, my friend, Patricia's knee started to catch (she has some torn cartilage in it that she needs to address), but we'll go back in Summer so she can see the mountain. Though she's been on it, she's actually never seen the mountain in person.
So it's time to focus on Whitney where Terri and I will be going in mid July. I'm pretty confident about it and I like that very much. The best thing going for us is that it's a well used TRAIL and not cross country. The other good thing is that there won't be much snow. Trouble is I love snow. You can fall in it and usually be ok, and you stay a lot cleaner, but snow progress is much slower than dirt when you're on foot unless you're glissading or skiing or sometimes snowshoeing. But dirt it is for now. Will keep training in the gym on an inclined tread mill 5 deg 15 min; 10 deg 15 min; 15 deg 30 min, and working in elements of my Shasta training plan that Courtenay at Body Results designed for me.
Posted by Ellen at 1:43 PM