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Mount Shasta

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Mount Shasta from the summit of Pilot Rock (Greg Lief)
Mt. Shasta and Pilot Rock viewed from Grizzly Peak in southern Oregon (bobcat)
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Mount Shasta is a large stratovolcano in the Cascade Range of northern California. At 14,179 feet, it is the second highest peak in the Cascades, after Mount Rainier, and the largest volcano by mass in the entire range. The mountain is an agglomeration of four volcanic cones, including the satellite cone of Shastina (12,330 feet) on its north side. The mountain has been forming for the past 600,000 years. The Hotlum Cone is the youngest and highest cone. It erupts, on average, every 600 years, with the last eruption in about 1786. There are seven named glaciers on Mount Shasta. The mountain is easily seen from many high points in southern Oregon and the central Oregon Cascades.

Elias Pearce completed the first recorded ascent of Mount Shasta in 1854. Nowadays, the most common climbing route is via Avalanche Gulch from the Bunny Flat Trailhead. The final section of the route is a snowy slog up Misery Hill to the summit.

Klamath legends held that Mount Shasta did battle with Mount Mazama (Crater Lake), with the latter hosting the underworld spirit of Llao, while Mount Shasta was home to the real world spirit of Skell. A more recent myth from the 20th century says that the mountain conceals the last bastion of the hidden civilization of Lemuria, a lost continent that is more commonly associated with the Indian Ocean.

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