Shasta Skills & Ski Weekend

Want to learn skills to climb big mountains across the globe?  Start your ski mountaineering career off with us on one of California's highest peaks!  You’ll learn to climb efficiently, use an ice axe and crampons, and manage the hazards of big mountains like Mount Shasta.
Skier making a turn on Mt Shasta in California
Skier hiking on Mt Shasta during a Blackbird Guides Summit & Ski 2 Day trip
Skier making a turn on Mt Shasta in California
Skier making a turn on Mt Shasta in California
Sunset on Mt Shasta in California
Skier in a tent at Helen Lake on Mt Shasta in California
Skier hiking towards the summit of Mt Shasta
Skier hiking with crampons and skis on backpack on Mt Shasta
Skier hiking with ice ax on the summit of Mt Shasta
Two skiers hiking near the summit of Mt Shasta
Skier hiking near the summit of Mt Shasta
Skier arcing a turn on Mt Shasta
Skier making a turn on Mt Shasta in California
Skier making a turn on corn snow on Mt Shasta
Two skiers hiking towards the summit of Mt Shasta
Skier camping at Helen Lake on Mt Shasta in California

Shasta Skills & Ski Weekend is a fun mix of skills and ski touring.  We’ll set you up with fundamental ski mountaineering skills that you can take to any big mountain, from Mount Shasta to the Andes! On day one, we’ll cover our basics of the gear and travel techniques we use in ski mountaineering. On day two, we’ll put our skills to the test and tour the mountain looking for great turns and places to practice skills. 

The program is two days in the field and will cover safety and efficiency techniques for big mountain ski mountaineering.

You'll learn:

  • The Rest Step  
  • Crampon techniques for various types of terrain
  • Ski Crampons
  • All about Ice Axes
    • Anatomy of an ice axe
    • Various grips and applications
    • Team arrest (when travelling on a rope team)
    • Self arrest
  • Rope Travel
    • Short roping with a guide
    • Glacier travel
  • Transitions
    • From skinning to cramponing
    • Cramponing to skiing in steep terrain

Prerequisite Experience

Participants are expected to be confident in ski touring and advanced to expert ski terrain in variable conditions. No prior experience with Ice Axes, Crampons or ropes is required.  

    Skier making a turn on Mt Shasta in California
    Skier hiking on Mt Shasta during a Blackbird Guides Summit & Ski 2 Day trip
    Skier making a turn on Mt Shasta in California
    Skier making a turn on Mt Shasta in California
    Sunset on Mt Shasta in California
    Skier in a tent at Helen Lake on Mt Shasta in California
    Skier hiking towards the summit of Mt Shasta
    Skier hiking with crampons and skis on backpack on Mt Shasta
    Skier hiking with ice ax on the summit of Mt Shasta
    Two skiers hiking near the summit of Mt Shasta
    Skier hiking near the summit of Mt Shasta
    Skier arcing a turn on Mt Shasta
    Skier making a turn on Mt Shasta in California
    Skier making a turn on corn snow on Mt Shasta
    Two skiers hiking towards the summit of Mt Shasta
    Skier camping at Helen Lake on Mt Shasta in California
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Skier hiking on Mt Shasta during a Blackbird Guides Summit & Ski 2 Day trip
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Skier making a turn on Mt Shasta in California
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Skier making a turn on Mt Shasta in California
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Sunset on Mt Shasta in California
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Skier in a tent 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 crampons and skis on backpack on 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 hiking near the summit of Mt Shasta
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Skier arcing a turn on Mt Shasta
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Skier making a turn on Mt Shasta in California
    • 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, Skier camping at Helen Lake on Mt Shasta in California

    Dates

    Available Dates

    December 11-12, 2021
    December 18-19, 2021

    Prices

    Mt Shasta Skiing Price List
    Ski Touring & Ski Mountaineering Private
    Private RatesPer Person
    1:1$990
    2:1$590
    3:1$470

    Itinerary

    Day 1

    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 where we'll travel and provide an overview of the skills to be covered for the day.  The guide will conduct a Trailhead Departure Check/Beacon Check.

    8:30 am  Travel to a suitable area to practice the skills we need for the day

    The purpose of the day is building skills, so we'll focus on that, rather than travelling long distances.

    9:00 am Skills

    • We'll begin our skills session, covering basic efficiency, footwork and body position, including the rest step.
    • Crampon techniques for various types of terrain
    • Ski Crampons, how and when to use them
    • All about Ice Axes
      • Anatomy of an ice axe
      • Various grips and applications
      • Team arrest (when travelling on a rope team)
      • Self arrest
    • Rope Travel
    • Short roping with a guide
    • Glacier travel
    • Transitions
      • From skinning to cramponing
      • Cramponing to skiing in steep terrain

    3:30 pm Close out the day and return to town. 

    After we finish skills for the day and establish a plan for the following day, we'll go our separate ways for the evening.

     

    Day 2

    6:00-9:00 am Meet to discuss the plan for the day.

    We'll base this meeting time on the snow conditions and objective hazards for the day. After meeting up we'll discuss the plan for the day and conduct a trailhead departure check.

    Ski Tour

    We'll ski tour to find the best turns of the day, putting the skills we learned the previous day to use on the natural features of the mountain.  Our tour will be based on the desires of the group and will focus on skills development and finding the best quality snow!

    3:30 pm Trailhead debrief and program close

    We'll wrap up the course with daylight left to spare, debriefing the skills learned and the next steps for skills development and ski mountaineering opportunities.

    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 

    ***These Are Required as Covid-19 Face Coverings

     

    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 Stuffsack 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 Dutring 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'

    Technical Difficulty ⚫⚪⚪⚪⚪

    This program is meant for people with no ski mountaineering skills or experience other than ski touring. You will be expected to be able to ski advanced to expert terrain in variable conditions.

    Difficulty ⚫⚫⚪⚪⚪

    We’ll get as high into the terrain as the conditions and our team allows, but our goal is not to summit.  Be prepared for two full days in the field.

    Trip Length

    2 days in the field.

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    $395.00
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