Mystics and the Mountain

Mt. Shasta awaits and our climbing team has assembled in Klamath Falls, OR for our summit attempt that will begin at midnight tonight. Yesterday, Alan, Ron and I converged in Denver and enjoyed an uneventful flight into Medford where the summer fire season has apparently just begun. Descending into the airport we sensed the faint odor and visible pall of smoke sitting in the Rogue Valley. From there we headed over the cascade range to Klamath Falls to meet up with Karen to complete our ragtag climbing team.

During the flight, I happened to be sitting next to a pleasant gentleman from Ashland, Oregon who just so happened to be a spiritualist/healer/guru that was just returning from teaching a healing retreat in Roanoke, VA. We struck up a conversation in which I was “enlightened” on various aspects of meditation, and the holistic healing power of your own bodies energy systems. But, I also learned that Mt. Shasta is a destination for mystics, gurus and sages from all over the world, many of which call Ashland their home.

Summoning the source of mystical energy in Ashland…

Some say Mt. Shasta is one of the seven main energy centers (called chakras) in the world. My seat mate described it as the seventh chakra, also known as the “crown,” but my research indicated it was the first chakra, or “root.” A wide discrepancy that may only be resolved with my own close encounter with the mountain!… I remain a skeptic…

Since our climb begins tonight, I think my mental preparation will have to rely on more traditional preparations like map and route study, weather reports, and practice with crampons and an ice axe. The weather report for tonight couldn’t be better, with temps in the low 30’s at the summit and light winds. So, for now the only unknown is the physical effort it will take to climb 7000 vertical feet at elevations between 7000 and 14000 feet.

The rest of today will be spent resting, hydrating and renting some essential gear from The Ledge, a local outfitter, before making the 2 hour drive to the trailhead sometime this evening. Stay tuned for the main event…

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