Lassen & Shasta

Sonbahar tam hizini almadan San Francisco’ya 4-5 saat uzakliktaki Shasta dagina (4320m) antreman cikisi yapmaya karar verdim. Ilk basta ekibi 3-4 kisi olarak dusunmustum, ama tirmanis oncesi son birkac gun icinde sayi ben dahil 2ye dusmesine ragmen planlari iptal etmedik ve haftanin bitiminde Cuma ogleden sonra yola ciktik. Ilk duragimiz Lassen tepesi olacakti. Kizil cam agaclari altindaki kamp yerinde gecelemek uzere cadirlarimizi kurduk. Ertesi sabah, 2650m’teki park yerinden 3190m’lik Lassen tepesine 1.5 saat icerisinde hizlica kosup/tirmanip indik.  Bu hizli aklimatizasyon tirmanisindan sonra, park yerinde birseyler yiyerek tekrar arabaya atlayip Shasta’ya dogru devam ettik.  Aksamuzeri, tirmanacagimiz rotaya giden patikanin dibine parkettik ve hemen cantalarimizi hazirlayip yola ciktik. Cadiri ve diger agir extra malzemeleri ben aldim, uzun zamandir agir canta tasimamis omuz ve sirt kaslarimi uyandirmak icin. Karanlik basmadan once 1830m’den 2590m’deki kamp yerine ulastik. Hava hafif ruzgarli ama acikti. Sabaha karsi 3te kalkip sicak birseyler icip zirveye dogru yola ciktik, 6-7 saat icinde varmak uzere. Fakat, hava tahminlerinde sadece zirve sirtinda olacagini gosteren ruzgar biz yola cikar cikmaz basladi ve hic dinmedi. Her adimda da siddetlendi. Oyle bir noktaya geldi ki artik rota uzerinde iki sarhos gibi ilerlemeye calisiyorduk ruzgar ile mucadele etmekten. Birkac kere de tokezleyip dusunce ve de hemen kalkamayinca donme karari almak zorunda oldugumuzu farkettik. Bu arada agzimiz gozumuz hep toz icindeydi ve birbirimizi bile zor duyuyorduk. 3 saatlik mucadelenin ardindan donuse gectik. Kamp yerine geri indigimizde cadir zar zor ayakta duruyordu ve ici toz toprak dolmustu fermuarda biraktigimiz minik bir bosluk yuzunden. Dinmeyen ruzgar altinda zar zor cadiri toparlayabildik ve inise devam ettik. Araba ile donus yoluna gectik ama ruzgar hala siddetle esiyordu ve San Franciscoya gelene kadar da devam etti.  Isin icinde bir gariplik vardi. Ertesi sabah, is kokulari icinde evimde uyandigimda, internette birkac saat kuzeyde cilgin yanginlarin oldugu haberini ogrendim, oyle ki kokular ve is buraya kadar gelmisti. Meger bizi zirveye cikarmayan ruzgarlar, buralarin kuzeyinde buyuk yanginlara sebep olmus. Neyseki biz tam zamaninda o bolgelerden gecip cikabilmisiz ama ruzgar sebebiyle sondurulemeyen ve neredeyse bir hafta suren bu yanginlarda bir dolu insan tum varini yogunu kaybetti malesef.

On way up to Lassen Peak / Lassen tepesine dogru

On way up to Lassen Peak / Lassen tepesine dogru

To the basecamp site with Shasta in the background / Shasta eteklerinde, anakampa dogru

To the basecamp site with Shasta in the background / Shasta eteklerinde, anakampa dogru

Relentless winds / Dinmeyen ruzgar

Relentless winds / Dinmeyen ruzgar

Before the Fall started to progress, I decided to do a training climb up on Mount Shasta (14180ft), 4-5 hrs north of San Francisco. At first we had a 3-4 person team, but a few days before the climb we ended up as only 2 people. Still went ahead with the plans and left Friday afternoon first to Lassen Peak (10460ft). We stayed at the campsite under the redwood trees at the base. Then from the parking lot at the trailhead (8590ft), we did a quick 1.5hrs ascent/run and down on Lassen. After this acclimatization climb, we ate some food right at the parking lot and continued driving straight to Mount Shasta, to the base (6000ft) of the route we were going to climb. After packing our backpacks, we climbed up to the campsite (8500ft) before it got dark. I carried the tent and a few other extra heavy items since I wanted to wake up my shoulder and back muscles a bit. It was a clear night. We got up early am and had some tea and started climbing towards the summit by 4am. We thought that it was going to take 6-7 hours for us. The weather forecast had showed some wind on the summit ridge but the wind already started to pick up in the morning and got stronger with every step. At one point we looked like two drunken people trying to stay up right in that wind. After falling a few times and not being able to get up right away, we realized it was perhaps time to turn around. Our mouths and eyes were covered in dust and we were hardly hearing each other.  After 3 hours of struggling in the wind, we turned around only to find our tent almost ripped off and full of dirt thanks to a small opening one of us left on the zipper. It was an effort to put the tent down since the wind did not quiet down at all and right after we continued our descent. After we got into the car at the bottom, the wind was still howling and continued to do so during the whole drive back to San Francisco. Something felt very weird. The next morning, when I woke up to some smoke in the air, I checked the internet to find out that those big winds that beaten us down caused some massive fires in the north. We were fortunate to drive through that region right on time. But those fires went on for almost a week due to relentless high winds and unfortunately lots of people lost everything they had including their homes.