In early May, five very Janky humans — highlighted by the visitation of living legend John Sheffler who flew down from Montana — popped a quick trip north to ride some creamy corn on Lassen, and do cool stuff. The other compadres were Hazen Woolson, Graham Johns, Greg Eaddy, and Dave Zook.
Check out these photos by Hazen Woolson that are worth at least a thousand words and a link to a short edit at the end.
The key to a successful and safe summit mission is a well groomed mustache, as everyone knows. Greg Eaddy keeping the crew secured and confident with class and style.
Driving is always fun. Due to the mega winter, the section of Hwy 89 that passes through Mt. Lassen was under at least 20 feet of snow. Intrepid explorers as we are, we traversed to the north entrance to the Devastated area, a mere 4-ish hours from Lake Tahoe.
At the entrance, Ranger Bob told us no camping was allowed inside the park. This nearly broke our hearts. We went in anyway to check out the scene. A few hours later a younger and more attractive ranger told us that we were OK to stay, as long as we kept things contained. Here is an educational demonstration — should you find yourself in the same situation — of what keeping your things contained and being discreet looks like. Lassen in upper left.
Second example of proper containment.
Da boyz, sans Hazen, headed out for a pre-dinner backflip session. The snow went all the way to the parking lot — a rarity we were told — which allowed for zero dirt walking.
Pro tip: Any long slog up a tall volcano should be preceded by a some air time the night before, to limber up the spine and see the sights. Just feet off the skin track the crew spotted and was drawn toward a quick in-run to flat section to steep landing, AKA a prime backie jump. Here is Haze-Daddy, the reigning backflip expert on the trip, showing how it’s done. He would help Greg, Graham, and Dave all toss and land multiple backflips, including Greg’s first ever on skis, and Dave’s first in almost a decade. Fired up!
*Admin note: John has one of the smoothest backflips in the game but was sidelined by an ankle tweak the day before. He tossed one nonetheless.
This is Dave.
And this is Greg, fully inverted and at least partially torqued.
Last but not least is Graham, spotting a nice slushy landing.
Finally, a shot of Mt. Lassen, and all 10,463 feet of her. The southernmost peak in the Cascades is a long sweaty haul to the top, but as many of the Cascades go, the technicality of the ascent is minor, and the payoff is a long, wide, and fat slab of a corn canvas. The route basically went up the middle of the peak with a grueling bootpack that followed a long simple skin approach.
Volcanoes are neat.
Summit bros! The top was windy, warm, and beautiful, with none of those elements being a surprise at all. Shasta in the far background.
Smiley, happy, sunny, good times with Greg and Graham.
Hazen, also smiley.
There is a distinct dot very close to the bottom left corner of this photo. Follow that to the right to almost the middle and up a little to an even smaller dot. That second dot is snowboarder Dave Zook (we think) enjoying one silly long flank of corn snow. Perspective! Conditions from the top were soft and juicy. We dropped close to 1 p.m., probably towards the later end of the good conditions, but certainly still in the money zone.
Bonus mini-spine after the main shot. Probably Greg here. We dropped from the center rock feature in the upper-middle of the photo and faded looker’s left.
Back down safely to the bottom. Relaxing, yucking it up, and sippin the good stuff.
Refreshing Afternoon dip in Manzanita Lake on summit day.
Of course, these were the cavey hole things we entered, as mentioned in the title. Not sure what else we would be talking about.
For real, the nearby Subway Cave is a great side-trip. It’s an old lava tube, which is a natural conduit formed by flowing lava. The entrance is named Devil’s Kitchen, and later on in the tube is Devil’s Cul de Sac. Someone kept pondering how terrifying it would be if a large man came running down the cave with a chainsaw screaming and hacking people up. Hard to argue that one!
Happy camp as seen under a fading sun. Thank you Lassen!
Now watch this video: