Mt Shasta Ski Mountaineering 5 Day Skills Expedition

Mt Shasta Summit & Ski Mountaineering Seminar will uplevel your big mountain skiing skills. Fundamental efficiency & safety skills and strategy to climb & ski challenging routes on big mountains. From camp craft to crevasse rescue, we'll cover all the skills you need to tackle you ski mountaineering goals!
Overview
Itinerary
Prerequisites
Inclusions
Gear

Our Mt Shasta Summit & Ski Mountaineering Seminar will bring your big mountain ski mountaineering skills to the next level. We'll cover foundational skills that will open the world of ski mountaineering and provide a skillset that will improve your efficiency, safety and understanding of expedition skiing and climbing.

  • Mt Shasta Summit Attempt - We'll make our summit attempt of Mt Shasta via the West Face. This will be a long day, gaining over 4,000’ of elevation over various snow surfaces and steep slopes.

  • Ski Mountaineering Skills Training We'll cover fundamental and advanced skills including:
    • Camp Craft
    • The Rest Step
    • Footwork & Crampons
    • Ice Axe Arrest
    • Glacier Travel
    • Ski Mountaineering Transitions
    • Snow Anchors
    • Crevasse Rescue

  • Ski Descent - Once we reach our high point, we’ll descend over 3,000' of continuous skiing down the West Face of Mt Shasta back to camp

  • Ski Objectives - Depending on timing of skills and conditions, we may be able to tackle additional ski objectives, like Mt Shasta's little sister, Shastina. We keep the itinerary flexible to maximize the learning experience and take advantage of current conditions on the mountain.

Day 0 - Meet with Guide to Review Trip Plan

Day 1 - Gear Check and approach to Camp.

We'll do a thorugh gear check to make sure everone has the necessary equipment, then skin to camp. At camp, we'll cover camp craft and do our first skills session.

Day 2 - Mountaineering Skills Training.

Today we'll tackle the fundamental efficiency and safety skills for climbing a big mountain like Mt Shasta. This will include footwork on snow, the rest step, cramponing, team arrest and self arrest, glacier travel and ski mountaineering transitions on steep snow.

Day 3 - Crevasse Rescue Training

This day will be devoted to Crevasse Rescue. We'll start with non-technical "brute haul" solutions, work into basic mechanical advantage and put it all together with comound mechanical advantage systems that will allow a single rescuer to haul a large person out of a crevasse on their own.

Day 4 - Summit Attempt & Ski Descent

We'll being with an alpine start before sunrise, timing our summit to optimize ski conditions on the descent. This will be a long day, gaining close to 5,000' of elevation over steep, variable snow conditions. Our efforts are rewarded with one of the most glorious runs in California - the West Face of Mt Shasta!

Day 5 - Potential Ski Objective and Descent to Trailhead

On our final day, we'll wrap up any loose end on skills and pack up camp. Depending on desires of the team and conditions, we may attempt another ski objective before returning to the trailhead to close out our program. Many teams wrap up the day with a celebration meal in town.

Big Mountain Itineraries are Subject to Change!

Mountain weather and conditions are dynamic and our itineraries must remain flexible to allow for us to deal with inclement weather or variable ski conditions. We make every attempt to stick to the itinerary, but ultimately changing the order of the lessons or entire days outlined above, including the summit day, might be the the best way to achieve the summit and skills goals for the program.

Here are the skills and fitness you'll need for your course:

  • Advanced to Expert Ski Ability - You should be an advanced skier able to handle variable, off-piste terrain at a ski resort and slopes steeper than 30 degrees. Conditions in the backcountry can range widely and you need to be able to comfortably ski down terrain up to 35 degrees in variable snow.

  • Strong Fitness - Able to spend a long, active day outside, moving uphill at 1,000’ per hour for durations of 1-1.5 hours between breaks. Participants should be able to hike 8-10 miles, climbing 2,500 - 3,500 vertical feet throughout the course of the day. People with strong fitness typically have a strenuous workout 3-4 days a week.

  • Mountaineering Gear - Come prepared with your own gear or rent from us
Shop Recommended Gear OR Visit our Rentals Page

Here's what's included with your trip:

  • Experienced AMGA Trained Guide
  • Group Gear including:
    • Tent
    • Ropes
    • Ice Axe, Crampons, Climbing Harness - please reserve on our Rentals Page
    • Snow Pickets & Ice Screws if needed
    • Stoves, Pots & Fuel
    • Group Safety Gear
    • Wag Bags - for human waste disposal in with compliance 'Leave No Trace' principles
Not Included
  • Meals
  • Guide Gratuities

Shasta Alpine Climbing Gear List


Know Before you go

SKILL LEVELIntermediate Advanced
ELEVATION7,000’-14,179’
LocationMt Shasta

Price/Person $1,895.00
Private Programs
Duration: 5 Days
View Full Itinerary
Private Programs

Blackbird Mountain Guides offers both scheduled group programs and private programs.

Private programs are simply above and beyond what Blackbird Mountain Guides currently has scheduled. Scheduled courses are not always less expensive. Before booking a trip with Blackbird Mountain Guides, clients are encouraged to review the differences between these types of programs, and to decide what works best for them.

SCHEDULED PROGRAMS

Scheduled Programs have fixed dates, itineraries, objectives, curriculum, and costs. They typically appeal to solo individuals or small groups or who are looking to share the cost of their program with a larger group. Correspondingly, scheduled programs are less expensive for smaller groups (1-2), and they provide the opportunity to meet others with similar interests. If you have a large group (3+), Scheduled programs will often be more expensive. They can fill up quickly, and scheduling flexibility is obviously limited.

Scheduled programs will have advertised dates. All scheduled programs can be run as private programs with private dates/rates as well.

PRIVATE PROGRAMS

Private programs have scheduling freedom. They typically appeal to those who would like some flexibility in planning their own trip or course. In this regard, Itineraries and objectives can be tailored to suit current conditions as well as client goals. Private programs are normally less expensive for larger groups (3+). If you have a small group (1-2) private programs will be more expensive.

Contact us
Full Itinerary

Day 0 - Meet with Guide to Review Trip Plan

4:00pm-6:30pm Your guide will discuss the challenges of the route, expectations for clients and guides, LNT procedures, and perform a thorough gear check to make sure we have everything we need for the mountain and the current conditions at hand. We also divide all group gear, including food, fuel, stoves, tents, shovels, pickets, solid waste bags and other items so that you are able to pack completely for the trip.

Day 1 - Gear Check and approach to Camp.

8:00 am We’ll meet on the first day of our trip at the North Gate trailhead. We’ll do a quick trailhead check to make sure we’re not forgetting anything, and we’ll set out for Camp at North Lake Basecamp. We’ll set up camp, discussing camp craft and the challengers of camping on an expedition, as well as some basic skills that will help us prepare for the climb and more technical training like fixed lines, glacier travel and crevasse rescue. After skills, we’ll eat a hot dinner and settle into our tents for the night.

Day 2 - Mountaineering Skills Training

Today will be a skills day covering:
  • 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
  • Knots

Day 3 - Crevasse Rescue Training

Today will be a skills day covering:
  • Gear for Crevasse Rescue
  • Essential knots and hitches
  • Rigging your rope and team for glacier travel
  • Mechanical advantage systems including Simple Systems, Compound Systems, and Complex Systems
  • Pragmatic solutions including Brute Haul and Dropped C systems
  • Rope Ascension

Day 4 - Summit Attempt

Alpine Start. Your guides will set the time based on warming for the day and the weather forecast. We will get an early alpine start and begin climbing after a hot breakfast.

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

Day 5 - Descent to Trailhead and Possible Ski Objective

8:00 am On our last day on Mt Shasta, we'll pack up camp and decide on doing a last ski objective before returning to the treailhead. This will depend on group desires, conditions and timing for the day.

Big Mountain Itineraries are Subject to Change!

Mountain weather and conditions are dynamic and our itineraries must remain flexible to allow for us to deal with inclement weather or variable ski conditions. We make every attempt to stick to the itinerary, but ultimately changing the order of the lessons or entire days outlined above, including the summit day, might be the the best way to achieve the summit and skills goals for the program.

Our Mt Shasta Summit & Ski Mountaineering Seminar will bring your big mountain ski mountaineering skills to the next level. We'll cover foundational skills that will open the world of ski mountaineering and provide a skillset that will improve your efficiency, safety and understanding of expedition skiing and climbing.

  • Mt Shasta Summit Attempt - We'll make our summit attempt of Mt Shasta via the West Face. This will be a long day, gaining over 4,000’ of elevation over various snow surfaces and steep slopes.

  • Ski Mountaineering Skills Training We'll cover fundamental and advanced skills including:
    • Camp Craft
    • The Rest Step
    • Footwork & Crampons
    • Ice Axe Arrest
    • Glacier Travel
    • Ski Mountaineering Transitions
    • Snow Anchors
    • Crevasse Rescue

  • Ski Descent - Once we reach our high point, we’ll descend over 3,000' of continuous skiing down the West Face of Mt Shasta back to camp

  • Ski Objectives - Depending on timing of skills and conditions, we may be able to tackle additional ski objectives, like Mt Shasta's little sister, Shastina. We keep the itinerary flexible to maximize the learning experience and take advantage of current conditions on the mountain.

Day 0 - Meet with Guide to Review Trip Plan

Day 1 - Gear Check and approach to Camp.

We'll do a thorugh gear check to make sure everone has the necessary equipment, then skin to camp. At camp, we'll cover camp craft and do our first skills session.

Day 2 - Mountaineering Skills Training.

Today we'll tackle the fundamental efficiency and safety skills for climbing a big mountain like Mt Shasta. This will include footwork on snow, the rest step, cramponing, team arrest and self arrest, glacier travel and ski mountaineering transitions on steep snow.

Day 3 - Crevasse Rescue Training

This day will be devoted to Crevasse Rescue. We'll start with non-technical "brute haul" solutions, work into basic mechanical advantage and put it all together with comound mechanical advantage systems that will allow a single rescuer to haul a large person out of a crevasse on their own.

Day 4 - Summit Attempt & Ski Descent

We'll being with an alpine start before sunrise, timing our summit to optimize ski conditions on the descent. This will be a long day, gaining close to 5,000' of elevation over steep, variable snow conditions. Our efforts are rewarded with one of the most glorious runs in California - the West Face of Mt Shasta!

Day 5 - Potential Ski Objective and Descent to Trailhead

On our final day, we'll wrap up any loose end on skills and pack up camp. Depending on desires of the team and conditions, we may attempt another ski objective before returning to the trailhead to close out our program. Many teams wrap up the day with a celebration meal in town.

Big Mountain Itineraries are Subject to Change!

Mountain weather and conditions are dynamic and our itineraries must remain flexible to allow for us to deal with inclement weather or variable ski conditions. We make every attempt to stick to the itinerary, but ultimately changing the order of the lessons or entire days outlined above, including the summit day, might be the the best way to achieve the summit and skills goals for the program.

Here are the skills and fitness you'll need for your course:

  • Advanced to Expert Ski Ability - You should be an advanced skier able to handle variable, off-piste terrain at a ski resort and slopes steeper than 30 degrees. Conditions in the backcountry can range widely and you need to be able to comfortably ski down terrain up to 35 degrees in variable snow.

  • Strong Fitness - Able to spend a long, active day outside, moving uphill at 1,000’ per hour for durations of 1-1.5 hours between breaks. Participants should be able to hike 8-10 miles, climbing 2,500 - 3,500 vertical feet throughout the course of the day. People with strong fitness typically have a strenuous workout 3-4 days a week.

  • Mountaineering Gear - Come prepared with your own gear or rent from us
Shop Recommended Gear OR Visit our Rentals Page

Here's what's included with your trip:

  • Experienced AMGA Trained Guide
  • Group Gear including:
    • Tent
    • Ropes
    • Ice Axe, Crampons, Climbing Harness - please reserve on our Rentals Page
    • Snow Pickets & Ice Screws if needed
    • Stoves, Pots & Fuel
    • Group Safety Gear
    • Wag Bags - for human waste disposal in with compliance 'Leave No Trace' principles
Not Included
  • Meals
  • Guide Gratuities

Shasta Alpine Climbing Gear List

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