Winter ascent of Mt Lassen

I met Tim and Eric through CHAOS (Cal Hiking and Outdoor Society), when Tim posted about a trip he wanted to do to Mt. Lassen. At this point I had some back country ski experience but no snow camping experience and not very much experience with crampons and an ice axe. I told both of them this before the trip and they were nice enough to teach me a lot during the trip. Because of this, I learned a lot on the trip, how to snow camp, and how to use crampons, an ice axe, and avalanche rescue gear.

We camped at the parking lot the first night about 10 miles from where the summit is. The next morning we set off and started skinning up the road covered in snow towards Lake Helen

the only bare section of the road
Lassen looming in the distance
Fully loaded pack
getting closer to Lassen

By mid-afternoon we made it to Lake Helen and dug out a camp, there were a few other parties in the same general area also attempting the summit the next morning. Because the snow is more stable at night, we planned to get up at 3am the next morning to summit under stable conditions.

our camp
about halfway up the peak as the first light became visible
Not long after sunrise we made it to the top
descending back towards Lake Helen

Upon returning to Lake Helen we rested for a bit and then skied down the road. It was mostly pretty flat but there was one shortcut we took near the end that resulted in a fun ski run. We then got back to the parking lot and returned to Berkeley.

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