Mt Shasta Summit & Ski Descent 2 Day
An overnight ski mountaineering trip on the largest volcano in the Cascade Range: Mount Shasta! We climb to the summit and descend on skis. The program includes a brief refresher on ice axes, crampons and rope skills, but the expectation is that you have learned and previously practiced these skills prior to this program.
Our maximum 3:1 skier to guide ratio means you'll get ample attention & coaching from our AMGA trained guides.
Ascent and descent options include: Avalanche Gulch, West Face, Brewer Creek, Clear Creek.
Advanced resort skiing & riding skills in off-piste terrain are required for this program.
This is a physically demanding trip and a high level of fitness is required. Please reach out if you are unsure about your level of fitness and we can help determine if the trip will be right for you. Our partners at Pallas.io also offer training programs to help you build the fitness you need.
A great prerequisite to this program is our Ski Mountaineering Skills program!
8:00 am Meet your guide at the trailhead. We'll do a quick gear check and review the plan for the day. The guide will discuss the route up to camp and we'll make any last minute adjustments needed. The guide will conduct a Trailhead Departure Check/Beacon Check.
8:30 am Ascend to camp and build camp.
12:00pm Skills review. Prior experience is helpful, as we will provide a review of crampons, ice axe arrest and glacier rope travel.
5:00pm Dinner and bed. We’ll review the plan for the following day, pack what we can to prepare and get to bed early to set ourselves up for an alpine start for the summit attempt.
Alpine Start. Your guides will set the time based on warming for the day and the weather forecast.
Summit Attempt. This will be a long day, gaining over 4,000’ of elevation over various snow surfaces and steep slopes.
Ski Descent. Once we reach our high point, we’ll descend the route and ski the variations holding the best snow!
Packing Up Camp and Return to Trailhead. When we get back to camp, we’ll break it down, pack up our bags and descend to the trailhead. We’ll aim to be down by early afternoon.
Gear Guide / Packing List
Backcountry Touring Gear
- Alpine Touring Skis or Splitboard - Light to Midweight Setup with “Tech Bindings”
- Alpine Touring Boots or Splitboard Compatible Boots; Scarpa F1
- Ski Poles - Lightweight, Adjustable Poles with Baskets; BD Expedition 3 Poles
- Climbing Skins - Mohair Mix is Best; Black Diamond GlideLite Mohair Mix
- Ski Crampons - Specific to your Skis/Board
- Ski Strap - Voile Ski Strap or Similar
- Avalanche Beacon - Digital Avalanche Transceiver; Black Diamond Guide Recon BT
- Avalanche Shovel - Collapsible, Aluminum Shovel; Backcountry Access BT2 Shovel
- Avalanche Probe - Quickdraw Style Probe; Backcountry Access Stealth 300
- Climbing/Ski Helmet - Dual Rated Helmet; Petzl Sirocco or Black Diamond Vision
- Headlamp - LED headlamp with fresh batteries; Petzl Actik Core
- Climbing Harness - Light Alpine Harness; Petzl Altitude, Mammut Zephyr Altitude
- Two Locking Carabiners - Petzl Attache, etc
- Triple Action Locking Carabiner - Edelrid HMS Strike Triple FG Locking Carabiner
- Double Length Sling - Sewn Runner; Black Diamond 10mm Dynex Runner
- Belay Device - Tube Style Belay Device; BD ATC Guide, Petzl Reverso
- Crampons, Steel - Steel Crampons Compatible with Your Boots; Petzl Vasak
OR Crampons, Aluminum - Aluminum Crampons, Compatible with Your Boots
Please ask your guide which is appropriate for your objective
- Lightweight Ice Axe - An ultralight Axe for Steep Terrain; Petzl Ride, BD Raven Ultra
Head and Neck Layers
- Sun Hat - A Baseball Hat; Blackbird Mountain Guides Logo Hat
- Sunglasses - Dark Lens Glasses with Side Coverage; Julbo Shield
- Goggles - Ski Goggles with a Storm Lens; Julbo Aerospace Reactive
- Warm Hat - Lightweight Warm Hat that Fits Under Your Helmet;
- Neck Gaiter - Light to Midweight Neck Gaiters; Buff or your favorite Face Masks
Upper Body and Hand Layers
- Long Sleeve Base Layer - Lightweight, Synthetic/Wool; Patagonia SunHoody
- 2 Insulating Top Layers - Light to Midweight Insulation Layers; Patagonia R1 & NanoAir
- Puffy - Midweight Down or Synthetic with Hood; Patagonia Fitzroy or similar
- Hardshell Jacket, Hooded - Waterproof, Light, Gore-Tex, NOT insulated; Arc’Teryx Alpha FL
- Light Gloves - Light to Mid Weight for Warm Temps; Flylow John Henry Gloves, BD Tour
- Midweight Gloves - Mid to Heavy Weight for Cold Conditions; BD Legend
- Sports Bra - Wool/Synthetic
Lower Body and Foot Layers
- Socks - Midweight Wool/Synthetic; Darn Tough Via Ferrata
- Underwear - Wool/Synthetic
- Long Underwear - Wool/Synthetic “Long Johns”; Patagonia Capilene Air
- Softshell Ski Pants - Breathable, Weather Resistant Pants; OR Trailbreaker II
- Vented Hardshell Ski Pants - (Conditions dependent) Waterproof Pants for Extreme Weather
Camping & Backpacking Gear
- Sleeping Bag - Down or Synthetic Rated to 0F-20F; Feathered Friends Egret UL 20
- Sleeping Pad - Insulated Inflatable Air Mattress; Therm-a-Rest NeoAir X-Therm, X-Lite
- Compression Stuff Sack - To Pack Sleeping Bag; Ultralight Compression Stuff Sack 10L
- Backpack - Lightweight, Simple 50 Liter Pack; Patagonia Alpinist 50, BD Speed 50 - MUST FIT ALL OF YOUR GEAR AND FOOD
Food and Water
- Dinner - Your Favorite Freeze Dried or “Just-Add-Hot-Water” Meal for Each Night in the Field.
- Breakfast - Your Favorite Freeze Dried or “Just-Add-Hot-Water” Meal for Each Morning in the Field
- Hot Drinks - For After Dinner and During Breakfast; Instant Coffee, Decaffeinated Tea, Hot Cocoa, Tang, Whatever You Prefer
- Half Liter Nalgene Bottle - A Hard Sided Water Bottled that Can Act as your Mug For Hot Drinks and WAter Bottle During the Climb; Nalgene 16oz Wide Mouth Bottle
- Soft Water Bottle 1.5L - Flexible Water Bladder; Hydrapak Flux 1.5L
***Please bring at least one hard sided water bottle.
- Water Treatment or Filtration - Katadyn BeFree Filter Connects to Hydrapak Flux Bottles
- Bowl - Reuse your Freeze Dried Dinner Bag as Your Bowl, or Bring Another
- Spoon - 9” Long Handled Spoon (For Eating Food in a Bag); GSI Essential Spoon Long
- Snacks - Snacks and Lunch food for each day of the trip
- Sun Screen (SPF 30 minimum)
- Lip Balm (with SPF)
- Hand Sanitizer
- Toilet Paper
- First Aid/blister Kit
- Chemical Hand Warmers
- Hydration System - Flexible Water Bladder with Hose; Hydrapak, Camelback, Platypus
Blackbird Mountain Guides will supply all of the group gear for the trip, including:
- Slingfin Tents (Designed and Headquartered in Berkeley, CA)
- Fuel for Stoves
- Snow Pickets (if required)
- Rock Protection (if required)
- Guide’s First Aid Kits
- Wag Bags (Solid Human Waste Disposal Bags)
Know Before You Go
Mount Shasta, CA
Technical Difficulty ⚫⚫⚪⚪⚪
Ice axe and crampon skills are a prerequisite for participation in this program.
Mount Shasta is a strenuous physical challenge. Skiers climb over 7,000 feet before descending the largest stratovolcano in the Cascade Range. It requires efficiency with climbing technique, excellent endurance and the ability to ski with a heavy pack.
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