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September 26, 2863: Lassen Peak

September 26, 2013

Lassen 13

Lassen Peak and Mount Shasta; by Tom Hilton, on Flickr

Camp 149

[Today] we made our first ascent of Lassen’s Peak—King and I and the three friends who had come with us from their camp. We were up and off early, were on the summit before ten o’clock, and spent five hours there.


Gentiana newberryi; by Tom Hilton, on Flickr

We had anticipated a grand view, the finest in the state, and it fully equaled our expectations, but the peak is not so high as we estimated, being only about 11,000 feet. The day was not entirely favorable—a fierce wind, raw and chilly, swept over the summit, making our very bones shiver. Clouds hung over a part of the landscape. Mount Shasta, eighty miles distant, rose clear and sharp against a blue sky, the top for six thousand feet rising above a stratum of clouds that hid the base. It was grand. Most of the clouds lay below us at the north. The great valley was very indistinct in the haze at the south, but the northern part was very clear.

We were back early, and had a hearty dinner of hot coffee, venison and trout, pork and beans—the former for a change, but the latter as a stand-by for fatigues and climbing. All were delighted with their trip.

Specimens collected: Gentiana newberryi; Carex breweri; Cheilanthes gracillima; Carex multicostata; Polygonum shastense.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 26, 2013 3:00 pm

    Lassen is another California mountain that I’ve never summited. I climbed up part way and skied down in May 1996 (well my buddy skied, I made divots).

    Heading Up

  2. William H. Brewer permalink*
    September 26, 2013 3:35 pm


    I hiked up on July 4 weekend, one of just 3 or 4 weekends they were allowing it this year (trail reconstruction work is supposed to go until next year, I think, at which point the restrictions will be lifted). Started at 6:30 am, with just a couple other people on the trail; coming down, there was a steady stream of hikers. But the popularity is justified: the view really is spectacular.

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