Recently I have returned from climbing Mt Shasta solo via clas IV Casaval Ridge and several people have been asking me to present the steps of my sucess. Mt Shasta is staying at 14,165 ft 4,360 m and is definitely not to be underestimated the weather change 4 times during 9 hours climb from Horse Camp.
Before you show at the Shasta station trying to climb the mountain there is several steps you must follow if you considering climbing the mountain.
First never climb alone only if you have years of experience in mountaineering. Before you climb the mountain make sure that you set your mind for the success, visualize the route and the terrain in details, not only that but view all the additional alternatives that you have in case you encounter unexpected circumstances in your route (and you will). Before I set my first foot on Mt Shasta I have been climbed Mt Shasta 50 times looking and visualizing the terrain and surrounding area. You have to be in shape, what I mean by this ...? You have to be able to run at minimum 5 to 7 miles in less then hour. Strength very important, legs, core weeks of climbing stairs and bicycle. All of this will not guarantee your success for summiting.
Equipment and the knowledge how to use it it must. Correct type of boots, socks, back up gloves, lip stick, goggles and so many other small things but crucial for sucess in climbing the mountain. After all of this you are only 50 % ready. The next step is to study events and circumstances of any kind, the more the better.
Expected the unexpected circumstances, prepared your mind to dill with un predictability, like weather, difficulties of the terrain and how to react to your body calls or to get out from the situation you get your self in to it.
I was climbing Casaval Ridge after my 3 am start, the wether was good for the first hour but then it change to snow and temperatures drop. I was prepared since I knew the weather condition prior to my climb and I was ready for unpredictable circumstances.
By the time I reach called (the windo ) on Casaval Ridge the weather clear out it was about 4 hour in the climb in front of me it was 3 climbers at in interval of 25 minutes ahead or so it was a good thing till this happened (next to the windo) folowing their foot steps on left side was 800 ft vertical drop when my left foot with ice crampons sink in to the void over me knee.
Never happened with me before I only have read this scenerio. Try to pull my leg up and my leg get stuck even more. Never let the panic take hold of you if not you will be in troubled. I actuality I smile when it happened. I anchor my self to the upper section of the ice banc then I remember the story I read about circumstances that other climber experienced before the same. I took my another ice axe and dig the snow around may leg which is cemented in seconds, then I scooped the snow and ice inch by inch, the process took over 5 minutes. Pull my leg up and continue my journey summiting 4 later in 9 hours total time climbed.
The key of sucess is a combination of multiple things small and big done correctly with mind free and in control at all time of the circumstances whatever they my be specifically when you are alone. Do not rush the climb, you will make mistakes and fail. After you summit remember you are only done 50% now you have to come back safely so you can tell the story if not you have failed.
Climbing mountains is absolutely incredible and beautiful but requires discipline,knowledge, respect and patience.