Backcountry Skiing on Mount Shasta

Mount Shasta | California
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to ski tour on Mount Shasta

  • Trip Highlight

    Snowpack makes skiing possible well into summer

  • Trip Highlight

    You’re skiing on an active volcano—what more is there to say?

  • Trip Highlight

    Numerous access points, mellow glaciers, and more than 7000ft of epic descents

Attention all adrenaline seekers! With a summit height of 14,162 feet, eight glaciers and over 8500 vertical feet, this Cascade volcano will leave everyone breathless. The deep winter snowpack provides great skiing well into early summer! Ski down the steep Avalanche Gulch or Hotlum/Wintun Snowfield Ridge, one of the classic Shasta ski descents. Most ascents and descents are for the experienced only, but there are more routes and lines if you’re looking for a gentler start. If skiing on top of an active volcano doesn’t make your adrenaline levels jump, what will? Find out more about the best spots for backcountry skiing in California from the local guides.

Season

Mid-December through early July

Nearest city

Redding, CA is just an hour drive away

Duration

1 day

Skill level

Beginner to advanced

Itineraries

Choose how to spend your day

Private Intro to Backcountry Skiing

Full-day

This is your chance to step out of the resort boundaries and step into the impressive world of off-piste skiing. Learn the fundamentals and get the most out of your day with a guide on this introductory Mount Shasta tour. See why so many outdoor enthusiasts venture off to remote terrains, get some experience under your belt and gain the confidence for the more complex feats.

A Customized Day of Private Guided Backcountry Skiing

Full-day

See for yourself why Avalanche Gulch is one of the 50 Classic North American Ski Descents, learn new techniques or simply enjoy a quiet day in nature. This is your chance to tailor the day according to your needs and wishes, with an expert Mount Shasta guide by your side, who will make the most out of your day on the slopes.

Advanced Tours & Ski Mountaineering

Full-day

Mount Shasta with its relative lack of crevasse hazard combined with generally nice springtime weather is the ideal place for ski mountaineering. What’s more, the impressive descents of more than 8500 feet make it the perfect terrain for the advanced skiers. Experience the complex ascents and the hard-pumping steeps with your guide, and get the most of this mind-blowing terrain. 

Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in Mount Shasta

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 travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Mount Shasta, please refer to the Official California State Government and County of Shasta websites.

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’s included?

What you get in this adventure:

    • An experienced, certified ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
    • A full day of backcountry ski touring

What’s not included:

How fit do I need to be?

In order to enjoy these Mount Shasta tours, you need to have a moderate level of fitness. You will be on your feet for a full day. While there is terrain for all skill levels in Mount Shasta, you will need to manage controlled descents in variable conditions. All participants should feel comfortable on blue level resort runs and be able to carry a loaded daypack while skinning up variable degrees of terrain. 

Advanced Mount Shasta tours can last for 12 to 14 hours, which means you will have to be able to hike for long periods of time with a 30-40L backpack on your back and then ski challenging descents in tricky terrain.

What if I’ve never backcountry skied before?

Backcountry skiing isn’t just for pros looking for the ultimate thrill ride, it’s also beginner friendly, meaning anyone with blue level resort experience can have fun in the backcountry. If you’ve never backcountry skied before, heading out with a guide is your best bet. They’ll take care of the planning, introduce you to the basics, like skinning uphill, and teach you how to manage the terrain. They also have the experience and avalanche training to keep you safe. 

What equipment do I need to bring?

For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:

  • Alpine touring skis, telemark skis or splitboard with skins (can be rented)
  • Touring boots and poles (can be rented)
  • Ice axe and crampons for over 10,000 feet (can be rented)
  • Avalanche safety equipment (can be rented):
    • Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
    • Lightweight snow shovel
    • Avalanche probe
    • Harness for glacier travel (advanced tours)

For personal items, we recommend bringing:

  • Helmet
  • Sunglasses or ski goggles
  • Gloves and hat
  • Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-tex recommended)
  • Ski pants (Gore-tex recommended)
  • Down jacket or vest
  • Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear and socks
  • One triple-action locking carabiner or two conventional locking carabiners
  • Repair kit and Leatherman for your equipment (can be shared between several people)
  • Water bottle and 1L of water
  • Thermos with a warm beverage — optional
  • Food you can eat on-the-go
  • First-aid kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 30-45L backpack)
  • Camera — optional

Can I rent equipment?

All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:

  • Avalanche safety pack, including backpack, beacon, shovel and probe can be rented from The Fifth Season
  • Alpine touring or telemark skis, touring boots and poles can be rented from The Fifth Season
  • Splitboards can also be rented from The Fifth Season

Ski rental locations are in 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 size and age requirements

Group sizes and pricing: 

  • For these Mount Shasta tour, the max client to guide ratio is 4:1. 
  • For advanced ski touring, the client to guide ratio is 3:1. 
  • The cost per person decreases as the group grows, so it’s the perfect opportunity to backcountry ski with friends and family. 

Ski touring in Mt. Shasta can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

Min. age requirements:

  • Everybody over the age of 18 is welcome to book this backcountry skiing adventure.
  • Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis. 

If you plan to ski with anyone under the age of 18, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to Mount Shasta, most people fly into one of the surrounding International Airports. Rogue Valley International Medford Airport is only 1.5 hours away from the town of Mount Shasta. From there, you can rent a car or take a bus. Sacramento International Airport is 3 hours away and Reno-Tahoe International Airport 4 hours away, with different flight and rental car options. However, Redding Municipal Airport is the closest one, being just an hour away.

Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet whether that’s at the guide shop or a predetermined location. From there, you’ll head to your tour. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ski ability of the group.

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