Women's Mt Shasta Summit & Ski Descent 3 Day
If you loved our women's hut trips this winter, you'll have a blast on our Mt Shasta 3-Day Summit and Ski Descent. This program takes it up a notch (and a few thousand feet of elevation!) and provides ski mountaineering skills, a summit attempt of a 14,000-foot Cascade Volcano and a ski descent - all with the support of an all women crew and our AMGA-trained lady guides!
During this 3-day, 2-night ski mountaineering trip, we'll bring you from being a backcountry skier to a ski mountaineer with skills and experience that will help you scale big mountains far beyond Mt Shasta. The program begins with a thorough gear check before we get onto the mountain. Next, we approach the climb and set camp, setting tents on snow or dirt depending on conditions, before we provide a comprehensive snow school to build the mountaineering skills needed to climb the mountain and manage the hazards along the way. Once we've gained the skills we need to tackle the climb, we'll make our attempt at the summit. From our highest point, we'll transition and ride thousands of continuous vertical feet back to camp.
What to expect from this trip
This Women's Mt Shasta trip will be an exciting foray into ski mountaineering (using ice axes, crampons and techniques) and will provide a supportive environment to gain skills and knowledge to further your backcountry skiing goals. While the trip is physically demanding (we're climbing up 7,000' with lots of gear after all), it's unimaginably rewarding and the experience is one that will be hard to forget!
You will come away from the trip with a slew of new skills, the experience of climbing and skiing one of the highest peaks of the Cascade range and the confidence to tackle other big-mountain style ski descents.
We never guarantee summits, but our team will do everything we can to get as many skiers and riders to the top as possible while managing risks for the team. We pride ourselves on our success rate!
Skills Covered in this Program
- Camp Craft.
- The Rest Step.
- Crampons (Ski and Boot Crampons).
- Ice Axe Techniques, including positions and self-arrest.
- Rope Techniques for climbing with a guide.
- Decision making in big-mountain terrain.
- Efficiency in movement.
Skier to Guide Ratio
Our maximum 3:1 skier to guide ratio means you'll get ample attention & coaching from our AMGA trained lady guides.
We offer trips up and down multiple routes including Avalanche Gulch, West Face, Brewer Creek, Clear Creek. Your guides will choose the best route based on weather, climbing conditions and skiing conditions.
Advanced to Expert Skiing Ability. You should feel comfortable on steep, off-piste terrain in variable snow conditions. The routes we will be steep and may have less than ideal snow surfaces.
Proficiency with Backcountry Skiing. You should have a solid level of backcountry skiing experience with the ability to ski and skin with a pack, layer appropriately for the conditions, and perform transitions from skinning to skiing/riding and vice versa. Ski Mountaineering Skills (including ice axe arrest, cramponing, rest step, ski crampons, etc) will be covered during the program and are not a prerequisite to participate.
Excellent Fitness. We'll ascend over 7,000' of elevation on variable terrain, using skins, ski crampons and boot crampons before skiing back down. All this will be with a backpack containing food, water, layering and technical equipment for the day.
If you are unsure about your level of fitness with regards to this program, please reach out and we can help determine if the trip will be right for you. With advanced notice, our partners at Pallas.io can help you build the fitness you need with mountaineering specific programming.
Snow Camping Experience. Basic experience with snow camping will make this trip much more enjoyable, but is not required!
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.
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
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.
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 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
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.
We highly recommend Trip Insurance. Cancellation & Rescheduling Policy.
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