Top three reasons to go on a glacier travel course on Mount Shasta
Improve your ice axe and crampon skills on perfect terrain
Admire epic views from the second highest peak in the Cascades
Achieve your goals with the support of your all-female team on one of California’s best 14ers
With incredible terrain and conditions for improving your glacier travel skills, Mount Shasta is a bucket list item for many mountaineers. Built up by countless strata of hardened lava, this stratovolcano at the southern end of the Cascade Range stands at 14,179 ft (4,322 m) and is as such the fifth highest peak in California. Delve deeper into the intricacies of glacier travel and expand your mountaineering horizons with fellow female outdoor enthusiasts and your expert guides. Learn more about crevasse rescue techniques, snow anchors, and ice climbing while conquering a glacier route on Mount Shasta’s north side. Your certified female guide will help you acclimate in this mountainous region prior to the summit climb on the Hotlum Glacier or a similar route. Feel a sense of accomplishment as you and other like-minded gals crush your mountaineering goals and walk away with a more refined sense of self.
Redding, CA, is 1.5 hours away
Intermediate to advanced
Book this adventure
All-Women’s Glacier Travel Course on Mount Shasta
Build out your mountaineering skill set on this glacier travel course on Mt. Shasta with an all-female team full of strong women! Sharpen your existing crampon and ice axe skills as you let your female guide teach you more about snow anchors, crevasse rescue techniques, and ice climbing. Prepare for a summit climb on the Hotlum Glacier or a similar route, instill confidence in other ladies, and revel in the far-reaching views in this mountainous heaven.
Day 1: Arrival and welcome
Kick this adventure off by arriving into the town of Mount Shasta and checking into your hotel. You’ll meet your guide and teammates and you’ll have a welcome dinner together in town.
Day 2: Trailhead transfer and hike to basecamp
Start the day off by having breakfast and you will meet your guide and teammates. The guide will carry out a thorough gear check and the group gear allocations will be distributed. After you’re done repacking your backpack, you’ll get to the trailhead and hike all the way to the basecamp. In the process, you’ll cover a vertical gain of 2,500 ft (760 m). Depending on the weather and other conditions, this approach hike may take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours. You’ll be carrying heavy packs on your back, so get ready!
Day 3: Mountaineering skills and acclimatization
Get ready for a day full of mountaineering skills and snow climbing practice. After your breakfast at camp, you’ll review ice axe and crampon skills. Then you’ll continue to review team rope travel and team arrest and continue working on snow anchors and glacier skills. You’ll return to camp early for dinner and an evening briefing and your guide will discuss the plans for tomorrow.
Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Day 4: Advanced skills
Continue improving your mountaineering skills and listen to your guides as today glacier travel, anchor building, and crevasse rescue will be the focal points. Return to the camp early to enjoy your dinner and for an evening briefing so that you know what to expect on the following day. Today could also involve moving up to an advance camp or even making an early summit bid if necessary, but this depends on the route and weather conditions.
Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Day 5: Climb/summit day
Since today is the summit day, you’ll have to wake up early. The alpine start is typically around 2 or 3 am. The summit bid usually involves 7-9 hours of ascending and about 4-5 hours of descending, meaning that you’ll be moving for a total of 12-14 hours. The standard turnaround time is at noon for safety purposes. After you return to the camp, you’ll have the remainder of the afternoon free to get a well-deserved rest.
Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Day 6: Descent (or backup summit day)
Have your breakfast to start off the day and pack up camp before descending back to the road and coming back to the town of Mount Shasta. Cap off this mountaineering adventure with a celebratory dinner.
Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Day 7: Departure
In the blink of an eye, this trip has come to a close and it’s time to say goodbye to your all-female team. Check out from your room and head home.There are no activities planned on this day, but climbers often choose to coordinate a final team breakfast on their own.
Meet your guides
Lead guide and the owner of AWExpeditionsLead guide and the owner of AWExpeditions
Lead guide and the owner of AWExpeditions
Backpacker, climber, mountaineer, and record-breaking ultrarunnerBackpacker, climber, mountaineer, and record-breaking ultrarunner
Backpacker, climber, mountaineer, and record-breaking ultrarunner
Shasta Mountain GuidesShasta Mountain Guides
Shasta Mountain Guides
Sunny is such a wonderful leader! I have gone on two expeditions with AWE and both were fantastic. The small group was a lot of fun. Sunny encouraged and challenged us throughout the trek, and had a high level of awareness and flexibility that made our trip safe and successful even when obstacles came up. I would highly recommend Sunny and AWE.
Things to know
Covid measures on Mount Shasta, California
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures on Mount Shasta, CA, please refer to the Official California State Government and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!
What you get in this adventure:
- An experienced, certified mountaineering guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- 5 days of glacier school and summit attempt on Mount Shasta
- Accommodations for 2 nights in a hotel (pre- and post-hike on Mount Shasta)
- Accommodations in tents on the mountain
- Team gear
- Breakfast and dinners on the trail and mountain (including water, coffee/tea, and hot chocolate)
- Pre- and post-climb team dinners in the town of Shasta
- Mount Shasta summit passes and wilderness permits
- All logistics
What’s not included:
- Transportation to and from Shasta
- Transportation to the trailhead
- Meals not listed in the itinerary, including lunches and personal snacks on the mountain
- Personal backpacking and mountaineering gear
- Medical, travel, and rescue insurance (rescue insurance is mandatory)
How fit do I need to be?
This tour is quite challenging, and you need to be in excellent physical condition to attempt it. Plan to be in your very best physical condition before a summit attempt. You should concentrate on endurance and strength training. You should be able to run a trail half marathon or hike 10-12 miles (16-19 km) while carrying 45 lbs (20 kg), without feeling extremely tired at the end of the day. You will spend five days on your feet encountering some mentally and physically draining technical routes as you climb on Mount Shasta. You’re expected to have previous hiking and backpacking experience.
What if I’ve never mountaineered before?
In order to participate in this guided glacier travel course on Mount Shasta, you need to have basic mountaineering experience and know how to use ice axe and crampons. This 5-day course is designed for the emerging mountaineer who wants to deepen their essential glacier travel and mountaineering skills while building on a pre-existing foundation of crampon and ice axe usage.
What equipment do I need to bring?
The team gear including ropes, mountaineering tents (double occupancy), kitchen equipment, team medical kit, and emergency communication will be provided by your guiding service. When it comes to the technical gear, you’ll need:
- Climbing helmet
- Ice axe
- Leather or synthetic mountaineering boots (crampon compatible and full-shank insulated)
- Climbing harness
- 2 locking carabiners
- 2 non-locking carabiners
- 30 ft of 5-6 mm nylon/perlon accessory cord (prusik cord)
Here’s a list of the personal equipment you need to bring:
- Backpack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 65-80L bag)
- Foam pad or inflatable sleeping pad
- Sleeping bag (rated to 20F or 0F)
- Compression stuff sack
- Trekking poles
- Nalgene water bottles (2-3L capacity)
- Disposable waste kits
- Trash compactor bag
- Short underwear
- Long base layer bottoms
- Long sleeve sun shirt
- Short-sleeve base layer top
- Warm midlayer top
- Trekking pants
- Waterproof hardshell pants
- Softshell jacket
- Waterproof hardshell jacket
- Shorts — optional
- Wool or synthetic hiking socks
- Light trail shoes or camp booties to wear around camp — optional
- Lightweight liner gloves
- Softshell gloves
- Insulated mittens
- Warm hat
- Buff and sun hat
- Travel clothes and clothes for dinner
- Lunches and food you can eat on-the-go (energy bars, electrolytes, sports drinks)
- Toiletries (sunscreen, lip balm, bug spray, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, toothbrush and toothpaste, sopap, shampoo, etc.)
- Small personal first aid kit
- Personal medicines (if needed)
- Prescription eyewear (if needed)
- Glacier glasses (category 4)
- Headlamp with batteries and charger
- Face mask
- Cup, bowl, and spoon
- Pee bottle — optional
- GPS Watch and charger — optional
- Camera — optional
Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.
Can I rent equipment?
You can rent:
- Mountaineering boots, large backpacks, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, helmets, gaiters, ice axes, and crampons from The Fifth Season.
The equipment rental location is in the town of Mount Shasta and should be picked up the night prior to your outing. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.
Group sizes and age requirements
- For this group adventure, the max. number of participants is 6.
- Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.
Glacier travel courses on Mount Shasta can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.
Min. age requirements:
- If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
- Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis.
If your group has skiers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
Deposits and cancellation policy
A $500 deposit to secure your place is due upon approval of the participant’s request to join an expedition.The balance of program fees will generally be due 90 days prior to the starting date of the program. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies.
- Though unlikely, an expedition may be canceled for any reason prior to departure. In that event, the deposit and expedition fees paid by the participants will be refunded. In circumstances where the expedition has already made payments to foreign agencies (climbing permits / logistics support) for a program, some portion of program fees may not be fully refundable.
- In the event of cancellation of a program and upon refund to participants of all program fee payments, the expedition organizer shall be released from any further liability to participants, including but not limited to liability for additional costs participants may have incurred, pre- departure expenses, non-refundable advance purchase air tickets, visa fees, equipment purchases and medical expenses.
- The $500 deposit is non-refundable. All other program fee payments from Participants are refundable upon request unless the expedition has already incurred costs on behalf of the applicant. Typically money is transferred to the respective in-country outfitter approximately 60 to 90 days prior to the start of the expedition.
- In some cases payments may be transferable; if you are required to forfeit your spot, you may find an acceptable replacement in which case your deposit and fees would transfer to your replacement without penalty.
- Participants agree that beginning on the first date of the program itinerary, there will be no refunds of program fees for any reason whatsoever.
- Should AWExpeditions have to cancel a scheduled expedition, we will refund all previously paid expedition fees including the security deposit.
- Should an expedition participant have to forfeit their spot on an AWE team due to COVID-related causes, with a minimum 30-day notice, your guiding company will refund your previously paid expedition fees minus the $500 security deposit, but allow for the rolling over of the deposit towards a future AWE climb.
- For last-minute cancellations within 30 days of our scheduled departure, AWE’s standard terms & conditions apply.
Getting there and meeting location
To get to Mount Shasta, most people fly into Rogue Valley International, only 1.5 hours away from the town of Mount Shasta. From there, you can rent a car or take a bus to get to the town. The closest airport, however, is Redding Municipal Airport, just an hour away. Some bigger airports include Sacramento International Airport and Reno-Tahoe International Airport, about 4 hours away.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, you will meet your teammates and guide for a welcome dinner in town after you check into the hotel in the town of Mount Shasta. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.