As a prelude to our weekend in the shadow of Mount Shasta, check out these excerpts from an account of the second successful summit bid, published in the Daily Herald (San Francisco) on October 9, 1854:

Substituting flannel overshirts for coats, and divesting ourselves of all dead weights, such as pen-knives, combs, etc, we fell into line behind our leader at 4 o’clock, to commence the ascent by starlight. In a few moments the frozen snow presented a smooth surface to our feet, as heading north-easterly we followed a gulch leading up between a sharp ridge of cragged rocks upon our right, with a similar ridge bearing nearly east, upon our left. At first we walked rapidly and comfortably, but as the grade increased our pace decreased, until at a point perhaps two miles from camp, the moon peeped over the bluff before us, seemingly directly overhead. Planting our staffs and iron shod heels firmly into the ice, we slowly climbed, halting frequently to regain our wind, and reached, as it were, a trail or track over which an avalanche had possibly passed, leaving the loose boulders bare. Here we sat down very carefully, least we should provoke acres of loose stones into motion. Daylight now enabled us to select our steps, trying each stone before our weight was trusted upon it. We made however frequent slips, and traveled abreast to avoid the showers of rock we each set in motion, which bounding down with great velocity, probably suggested it to others, as well as myself, the thought that one false step would enable us to travel with a degree of speed much greater than that yet attained, and this too in anything but an upward course.

…. and finally, the summit:

Two hundred yards above us, the most easterly and highest peak towered in a sugar-loaf form. Addressing ourselves to the work, we accomplished our task, and clung to the rocks around the flag upon the very top. Breathing with much difficulty, we rested silently until at the suggestion of Capt. McDermit, we united in three cheers for the stars and stripes, and for the party that planted them there five weeks before. It was now 9 o’clock. In five hours we had made the summit–the whole world lay below us, and we feasted with delight upon the varied and extensive scenes presented to view from all points.

Kinda cool to think that in the midst of attending to the business of civilizing the wilderness, guys got together to do totally frivolous things like climb mountains.