Friends tell me this is the best climb in CA. May – July.
larger version – flickr – Darcy McCarty
And that it’s quite doable for a non-mountaineer.
The The Mozmonkey Blog is planning for summer 2009, as well:
… Typically the climb and decent will take two days, although, some people do it in one.
Day 1 starts with a 4 – 6 hour hike from the parking lot up to Helen Lake (which is really just a glacier) where you setup base camp. The rest of the day is spent admiring the view, making food (yay, dehydrated meals!) and preparing your day pack for the next morning.
The summit ascent begins somewhere between 12 AM – 3 AM the next morning. You’ll want to start super early while the snow is still firm and solid and get to red banks before the sun starts making it soft and slushy.
When you reach the summit stop to enjoy the view, regain your energy and prepare for the best part of the journey — glissading down the mountain! This literally means you will sit on your butt in the groove created by the people before you and slide down the entire mountain; stopping briefly at base camp to collect the rest of your gear. Not to worry, you will have an ice axe with you as a safety device that will help you regulate your speed down the mountain.
So that’s it, 2 days to get to the top and and 3 – 4 hours down. …
Sounds something like our climb of Mt Adams, Oregon last year.