Phew! What an experience. Pain and pleasure at their best and worst. Mountaineering is surely no walk in the park – while that shouldn’t come as a surprise, you don’t realize how intensely grueling it can be until you’ve gone on a difficult climb.
I didn’t summit. I topped out at 13,200 ft, about 900 ft from the summit. I’m proud though of where I reached. The climb was intense, as pointed out by our guide who said it was one of his toughest Shasta climbs (and he has summitted dozens of times). Deep snow, bad weather, dehydration, my bad stomach, and over 5000 ft to be ascended on summit day – considering all this, I am content that I reached that altitude.
Pics from my climb: http://picasaweb.google.com/vinthanedar/MtShastaClimb
This has certainly given me immense confidence prior to my Rainier climb coming up in July.
(that’s not a mustache btw, it’s my helmet strap)