This morning, with a cloudless view of the mountain as a backdrop, we took group photos before breaking into rope teams for the big gear-check with the guides. Now all the climbers not only know who they’ll be climbing with the next two days, they also know what to expect from the mountain, how to deal with blisters, what quantity of food to bring and how to pack efficiently.
After a day of necessary preparation, everyone seems at ease but anxious to get started. Tuesday brings the team’s departure from Bunny Flat Trailhead (6,900 feet) for the first part of their journey to the evening’s base camp at Hidden Valley.
For the first time in Climb Against the Odds history at Mt. Shasta, snow continued to fall on the mountain until a few weeks ago. Right now Bunny Flat trailhead, from which supporters and community members will see the team off tomorrow morning, is under an amazing six feet of snow. Rather than battling rocky trails to their 9,400-foot base camp, the team will make their three-hour trek in complete snow, with possible assistance from crampons and rope teams.