This weekend I climbed Mount Shasta which has been a dream of mine for a while now.
I wanted to wait until I hit my fitness goals so I was in peak physical condition.
The plan was to drive up to Shasta City (5 hours), and then crash in the parking lot until the morning.
Then you take a 5 hour hike up to Helen Lake.
This killed me because I really needed snow shoes which I didn’t bring. Next time. BRING SNOW SHOES.
Interestingly enough they’re hit and miss. On they way up they were valuable because of perfect snow conditions but on the way down they were actually worse because the snow was like soup.
The biggest problem I had (in hindsight) was that food consumption is almost impossible on the mountain because doing ANYTHING other thank hiking is insanely dangerous. One mistake and you’re dead.
During the second day I didn’t eat enough food and it almost prevented me from hitting the summit. I had to literally collapse 2-3 times and just do nothing for 20-30 minutes while I ate and drank water.
My blood sugar was so low that I basically couldn’t even lift my feet. Combined with the altitude and lack of oxygen. This means that every three steps required 30 seconds of rest.
In the future I need to upgrade my equipment with the following:
- better boots with better cushioning on the heels
- water bladder for inside my jacket and dextrose/sugar/electrolyte solution. Inside the jacket is important because it will keep it warm and prevent it from freezing.
- snow shoes
- Gaiters to prevent water from getting in my shoes