We visited Lassen Volcanic National Park as the first stop on our mega roadtrip of the western United States. The plan was to come and see some of the famous hissing fumaroles, boiling mud pots and technicolor landscapes. However, who'd have thought that in June, the majority of tourist sights would be closed due to deep snow! Note to self - 'snow takes a while to thaw out in high altitudes'.
Sitting in the car park thinking about how this was not a good start to the 3-week trip, we thought about the next stop on the itinerary, Mount Shasta, and the fact that we needed to get acclimatised for the high altitude trek.
So what better practice run than to have a pop at Mount Lassen herself. Gill assumed I was joking when I casually mentioned it. Standing at 10,450ft, Lassen is a worthy mid-day challenge for anybody. No technical equipment required and a perfect way to ready yourself for bigger peaks to come. Not least, it gave us a chance to practice some 'glissading' down safe slopes and 'self-arrests' (aka. the mountain hand-brake).
All in all, a good climb and the perfect vantage point to get a good view of the northern Californian landscape. Worth straying off the path a little bit at the start if you want to get a sense of what it will be like to tackle Red Banks on Shasta.