Mt Shasta Summit & Skills Expedition

Build the skills to confidently climb big mountains on this 5-day Mt Shasta mountaineering skills seminar. The Mt Shasta Summit & Skills Expedition will teach the skills to climb steep, glaciated peaks across the globe and will prepare you for Mt Rainier, Denali and big expeditions like Peru's Cordillera Blanca.
Mt Shasta Summit & Skills Expedition
Sunset on Mt Shasta in California
Skier camping at Helen Lake on Mt Shasta in California
Skier hiking towards the summit of Mt Shasta
Skier hiking with ice ax on the summit of Mt Shasta
Two skiers hiking near the summit of Mt Shasta
Skier making a turn on corn snow on Mt Shasta
Two skiers hiking towards the summit of Mt Shasta
Mt Shasta Summit & Skills Expedition

The 2nd highest peak in the Cascades, 14,179' Mt Shasta is California's most massive volcano and an ideal venue to learn mountaineering skills.  Massive snow fields and a variety of terrain, including steep slopes and glaciers, make Shasta a perfect place to learn big mountain climbing skills. 

In our 5-day Mt Shasta Summit & Skills Expedition we cover expedition skills including:

  • Camp Craft
  • Movement and efficiency on snow and ice
  • Crampon techniques
  • Ice Axe Self Arrest and Team arrest
  • Rope Team Travel
  • Snow and Ice Anchors
  • Crevasse Rescue
  • Fixed Line Travel 

 

Our program will culminate in a summit attempt of Mt Shasta via the Hotlum Glacier. It's an incredible big mountain climbing experience and a great way to put the skills we've covered to use.  The skills learned here are the perfect foundation for any big mountain climb, from Denali to Mount Everest.

Requisite Experience 

This program is an introductory course designed to provide an understanding of the techniques and tools used in classic mountaineering.  There are no prerequisite skills, the only requirements are:

  • high level of cardiovascular fitness
  • the ability to learn athletic movements that involve your entire body  

Feel free to email us f you're unsure and we can help you figure it out!

    Mt Shasta Summit & Skills Expedition
    Sunset on Mt Shasta in California
    Skier camping at Helen Lake on Mt Shasta in California
    Skier hiking towards the summit of Mt Shasta
    Skier hiking with ice ax on the summit of Mt Shasta
    Two skiers hiking near the summit of Mt Shasta
    Skier making a turn on corn snow on Mt Shasta
    Two skiers hiking towards the summit of Mt Shasta
    Mt Shasta Summit & Skills Expedition
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Sunset on Mt Shasta in California
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Skier camping at Helen Lake on Mt Shasta in California
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Skier hiking towards the summit of Mt Shasta
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Skier hiking with ice ax on the summit of Mt Shasta
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Two skiers hiking near the summit of Mt Shasta
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Skier making a turn on corn snow on Mt Shasta
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Two skiers hiking towards the summit of Mt Shasta
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Mt Shasta Summit & Skills Expedition

    Itinerary

    Day 1

    8:00 am  Meet your guide at the in town.  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.  Caravan to the trailhead.

     

    The rest of the day will be spent ascending to camp and building camp where you will learn about camp craft.

     

    Day 2

    Snow School

    In this program we'll cover:

    • Ski Mountaineering Gear
    • Ice Axe Techniques including Self Arrest and Team Arrest (for Glacier Travel)
    • Crampon Techniques
    • Mountaineering efficiency including the Rest Step
    • Descending techniques for mountaineering
    • Basics of rope team travel

    Early dinner and bed

     

    Day 3

    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!

     

    Pack Up Camp and Return to Trailhead. We’ll break down camp, pack up our bags and descend to the trailhead. 

    Equipment

    Shasta Ski Mountaineering Gear Guide

    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 Gear

    • 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

    Technical Gear

    • 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

    Other Essentials

    • Sun Screen (SPF 30 minimum)
    • Lip Balm (with SPF)
    • Hand Sanitizer
    • Toilet Paper

    Optional

    • First Aid/blister Kit
    • Chemical Hand Warmers
    • Hydration System - Flexible Water Bladder with Hose; Hydrapak, Camelback, Platypus

    Group Gear

    Blackbird Mountain Guides will supply all of the group gear for the trip, including:

    • Slingfin Tents (Designed and Headquartered in Berkeley, CA)
    • Stoves
    • Fuel for Stoves
    • Ropes
    • Snow Pickets (if required)
    • Rock Protection (if required)
    • Guide’s First Aid Kits
    • Wag Bags (Solid Human Waste Disposal Bags)

    Know Before You Go

    Location

    Mount Shasta, CA

    Elevation

    7,000-14,179'

    Difficulty ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚪

    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 and excellent endurance.

    Trip Length

    3 days

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    $1,595.00
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