Top three reasons to go ski mountaineering in Mount Shasta
Feel a sense of pride upon scaling one of twelve California’s 14ers
Escape the crowds and find inner peace in this mountain haven
Soak in the picture-postcard vistas that the snow-capped volcanic peak offers
If you’ve ever wondered what conquering a volcanic mountain peak would be like, look no further! Shaped for centuries by numerous layers of hardened lava, Mt. Shasta has become one of the most stunning ice-topped volcanoes whose sublime beauty bedazzles even the most seasoned of ski mountaineers. Standing at an elevation of 14,179 ft (4,322 m) and boasting an abundance of accessible routes with open glades and quality snowpack, the second-highest peak in the Cascades is ideal for intermediate and advanced ski mountaineers. You’re required to know how to use an ice axe and crampons, as well as to be acquainted with efficient climbing techniques, but you’ll be accompanied by an experienced guide whose main priority is your safety. So, grab your skis and all you need to explore this unique and majestic volcanic ascent. Find out more about Mount Shasta, one of the best backcountry locations in California, from 57hours in collaboration with local guides.
April through May
Redding, CA, is 1.5 hours away
Intermediate to advanced
Book this adventure
2-day Ski Mountaineering trip on Mount Shasta
Treat yourself to two days of ski mountaineering on one of the most spectacular volcanic mountains the US has to offer. While climbing the peak, you’ll get to brush up your ski mountaineering skills and discover some phenomenal panoramic views that no photo can do justice. This idyllic setting will make you forget about the strenuous climb and each step of the way will seem easier under the guidance of a knowledgeable guide who will provide the optimal learning environment.
Day 1: Get ready for the summit
You and the rest of the participants will meet the guide in the town of Mount Shasta where your guide will carry out a quick equipment check to ensure that you’re ready for the trip. After you’ve reached the trailhead, you’ll climb to one of the few camping options: the Horse Camp area, Helen Lake or Upper Ski Bowl, where you’ll set up a base camp and spend the night.
Day 2: Summit Day
Upon waking up, your journey to the summit begins with an alpine start. There are several ascent and descent options such as Avalanche Gulch, the classic and by far most popular climbing route up Mt. Shasta, West Face, a similarly difficult alternative to Avalanche Gulch, followed by Brewer Creek and last but not least Clear Creek, the easiest route to the top of the pinnacle. Your guide will tailor the day according to your skills and wishes, but most people opt for Avalanche Gulch. After you’ve scaled the peak, you’ll begin to descend on skis and get safely to the base camp and eventually back to the trailhead!
Meet your guide
Blackbird Mountain Guides is an amazing guide service! They tailor trips based on your individual preferences and abilities and are eager to help you develop new skill sets. The guides have extensive subject matter expertise and are extremely professional. I have done numerous climbs with Zeb specifically, including a recent trip a few weeks back – it was (as always) thoroughly enjoyable. There is a reason I keep coming back and climbing with Zeb – you always know you are in the best possible hands. Based on my past experiences, I am currently planning two more trips next year with Blackbird Mountain Guides. A top-notch company.
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, CA, please refer to the Official California State Government and Siskiyou County Public Health.
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 ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- Two days of ski mountaineering
- All group gear (tents, stove, ropes, fuel for stoves, ropes, wag bags, First Aid kit, snow pickets and rock protection)
What’s not included:
- Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
- Food and snacks
- Camping fees (up to $5 per tent)
How fit do I need to be?
In order to enjoy this ski mountaineering adventure, you need to be a solid intermediate to advanced skier comfortable in various snow conditions ready to implement efficient climbing techniques on the way to Mt. Shasta. You’ll be required to use an ice axe and crampons and you also need to be in good shape and have excellent endurance seeing as you’ll climb over 7,000 ft before descending this marvelous volcano. The ascent to this peak poses a serious challenge and don’t forget that you need to be able to ski with a heavy pack while summiting this colossal volcanic mountain that lies ahead of you.
What if I’ve never ski mountaineered before?
This two day trip to Mt. Shasta is intended for intermediate and advanced ski mountaineers and the participants are expected to have prior experience and knowledge when it comes to using an ice axe and crampons, as well as possess rope skills. This is a fast-paced adventure, but your guide will make sure to provide a quick refresher on these prerequisite skills so that you can experience this volcanic peak the right way.
What equipment do I need to bring?
For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:
- Alpine touring skis or splitboard with skins (can be rented)
- Touring boots and poles (can be rented)
- Ski crampons and strap
- Avalanche safety equipment (can be rented):
- Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
- Lightweight snow shovel
- Avalanche probe
- Lightweight ice axe (can be rented)
- Crampons (steel or aluminium) (can be rented)
- Climbing/ski helmet
- Harness with two locking carabiners, a triple action locking carabiner, and belay device
- Double length sling
For personal items, we recommend bringing:
- Sun hat
- Warm hat
- Light to midweight neck gaiters, buff or your favorite face masks
- Lightweight, synthetic/wool long sleeve base layer
- 2 light to midweight insulating top layers
- Midweight down or synthetic puffy with hood
- Waterproof, light, hardshell jacket (Gore-Tex recommended)
- Light gloves and midweight gloves
- Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear and socks
- Breathable, weather resistant softshell ski pants
- Vented hardshell ski pants
- Four Seasons sleeping bag rated 0F-20F
- Insulated inflatable sleeping pad
- Compression stuff sack (to pack sleeping bag)
- Backpack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 50L backpack)
- Freeze fried or “just-add-hot-water” meal for each morning and night in the field
- Thermos with a warm beverage
- Soft water bottle 1.5L – flexible water bladder
- Water treatment or filtration
- Bowl and long handled spoon
- Toiletries (sunscreen, lip balm with SPF, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, etc.)
- First Aid/blister kit
- Chemical hand warmers
Can I rent equipment?
All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:
Ski rental locations are in Truckee 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 adventure, the max client-to-guide ratio is 3:1.
- Costs per person decrease as the group grows for this adventure, so it’s the perfect opportunity to climb with friends and family.
Ski mountaineering in Mt. 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.
Getting there and meeting location
To get to Mt. 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, 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.