This 3-day ski mountaineering trip on Mount Shasta is the perfect opportunity to take your backcountry skiing to the next level.
Mount Shasta is one of the most iconic ski mountaineering peaks in North America, and a prime location to break into some big terrain. You’ll learn advanced backcountry skills on how to safely approach steep lines, summit using those skills, and ski some epic spring corn on Mount Shasta’s West Face.
- Day 1
Ascend to Hidden Valley
8:00am: Meet and Greet in Town, briefing
9:30am: Depart for Bunny Flat 6,880 ft
11:00am-12:00pm: Lunch break at Horse Camp 7,880
3:00pm: Arrive Hidden Valley (9200′) and set up camp
4:00pm – 5:00pm: Climbing training
5:30pm-7:30pm: Dinner, Climb briefing, packing
- Day 2
Alpine start (1:00am-3:00am, conditions dependent)
Turnaround time (11:00am-2:00pm, conditions dependent) Ski back to camp
Back at Hidden Valley camp by mid-afternoon
- Day 3
9:00am: Depart Hidden Valley and ski to Trailhead
12:00pm-1:00pm: Arrive at Trailhead
(option to make ski attempt on Shastina before heading down)
Bring your favorite baseball hat for shelter from the sun. No white under the brim – the reflection off of it from the sun is blinding.
Recommended: Alpenglow Hat
A comfortable, warm well-fitting hat that covers your ears. Make sure that one of your hats fits under a helmet.
Recommended: Black Diamond Levels Beanie
We recommend a tight-fitting balaclava that is worn under your hat. Make sure that it covers as much skin as possible, but is comfortable enough to wear for hours.
Recommended: Black Diamond Coefficient LT Balaclava
Neck Gaiter (Buff)
A multi-purpose neck gator that can also be worn under your hat. Make sure that it covers as much skin as possible and yet is still comfy.
Recommended: Alpenglow Buff
Must have dark lenses. Minimal light should come in below, above, or around the sides of the lenses.“Wrap” style is best. Ventilation is important and a retainer strap is very useful (Chums or Croakies).
Recommended: Vaurnet Ice Rounds
These will be worn on stormy or windy days. Make sure you are getting a snug fit with lenses for bright sun. Ventilation and anti-fog features are desired.
Recommended: Vuarnet Everest Goggles
These gloves keep the inside of your mitts or other gloves from accumulating sweat on the inside and turning inside out when you take them off, as well as provide additional insulation.
Recommended: Black Diamond Lightweight Wooltech Gloves
All-around gloves for mountaineering, backcountry skiing, and hiking. These gloves (and similar options) are warm, wind-resistant, durable and have a sure grip. You will rarely take these gloves off. They should be snug-fitting, and have some sort of reinforced palm.
Recommended: Black Diamond Tour Gloves
These gloves should be full GORE-TEX®, and insulated. These will be the workhorse glove for any expedition.
Recommend: Black Diamond Mission MX Gloves
Ski socks will keep your feet warm and dry during long tours in the mountains.
Ultra-light base layer that effectively wicks moisture away from your body and is breathable. Quick-dry is important as well. One light-colored shirt is recommended for extremely sunny days.
Recommended Men’s: Black Diamond Lightwire Short Sleeve
Recommended Women’s: Black Diamond Lightwire Short Sleeve
Mid-Weight Puffy Jacket
Hard Shell Jacket
An easily adjustable lightweight helmet that fits with hat and Balaclava. Make sure this is a climbing-specific helmet. *Climbing helmets are also available to rent (for our introductory climbing courses) at no charge from Alpenglow Expeditions on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Recommended: Black Diamond Vision Helmet – MIPS
Must have belay loop, gear loops and adjustable leg loops so that you can layer up underneath it. Easy to pack, lightweight + comfortable. *Harnesses are also available to rent (for our introductory climbing courses) at no charge from Alpenglow expeditions on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Recommended: Black Diamond Couloir
Steel crampons with anti-balling plates are required (so that snow does not build-up in the base of your foot). Make sure that crampons have a heel bail and that they fit snugly on your ski or snowboard boots. Crampons are available to rent (for our introductory climbing courses) at no charge from Alpenglow Expeditions on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Recommended: Black Diamond Sabretooth Crampons
Skis w/ Touring Bindings
A lightweight touring ski with touring bindings. Our guides suggest something between 95mm and 110mm underfoot. Keep in mind that extremely lightweight boards are great on the uphill, but can prove challenging in variable conditions.
Recommended Skis: Black Diamond Helio Carbon 95 Skis
Recommended Bindings: Black Diamond ATK Crest 10 Bindings
While ski crampons are strongly recommended on our domestic backcountry ski programs, they are required on all of our International Ski Expeditions. These are typically used on early spring days when the snow is often icy on the way up before the conditions transition. Many bindings accept a compatible crampon made by the manufacturer.
Recommended: Black Diamond ATK Ski Crampons
Ski Touring Boots
These need to be a touring specific boot with walk mode, and a rubber sole. Typically sized a bit larger than your regular alpine boot, and light weight is a huge plus. Be sure to try many pairs on to find the right fit; it can make or break a day in the mountains!
A splitboard that you are comfortable riding in a variety of conditions.
Recommended: Jones Solution Splitboard
While splitboard crampons are strongly recommended on our domestic backcountry splitboard programs, they are required on all of our International Splitboard Expeditions. These are typically used on early spring days when the snow is often icy on the way up before the conditions transition. Many bindings accept a compatible crampon made by the manufacturer.
Recommended: Spark R&D Ibex ST Splitboard Crampons
The same boots you wear at the resort are great for your splitboard. Be sure they’re comfortable, backcountry touring means long days in your boots!
Recommended: Burton Tourist Snowboard Boots
Many options are available, and are often comparable. Most important is to ensure your skins are trimmed properly for the ski you will be touring with. Skins with a secure tail clip are preferred.
Recommended for Skis: Black Diamond Glidelite Mix STS Climbing Skins
Recommended for Splitboards: Black Diamond Glidelite Mix Splitboard Climbing Skins
Ski Mountaineering Ice Axe
A small, light weight ice axe designed for ski mountaineering. Typically between 45cm and 55cm.
Recommended: Black Diamond Venom LT Classic Piolet
While the technical equipment needed for a specific objective and season varies, this basic kit is a great baseline. Your guide will bring gear for you to use during your course, but participants are encouraged to bring some or all of this if you own it or are interested in purchasing it.
1 Cordalette (6mm x 5m/16.4′)
4 locking carabiners
2 non-locking carabiners
1 double-length Dyneema sling
Small prusik loop (6mm x 112cm/44″)
Auto-blocking belay device (eg. ATC guide)
Micro Traxion or similar
A digital transceiver that is simple to use or that you are extremely comfortable using.
Recommended: Black Diamond Recon Avalanche X Beacon
A strong, lightweight avalanche probe, 260-300cm.
Recommended: Black Diamond QuickDraw Pro Probe 280
A lightweight metal avalanche rescue shovel. Extendable handle is recommended.
Recommended: Black Diamond Evac 7
Climbing Pack: 60-75L
Internal frame pack that is between 60 and 75 liters. Either purchase a matching pack cover, or use garbage bags as liners. Make sure the pack is fitted to YOUR body.
Recommended: Black Diamond Mission 75
Foam Sleeping Pad
Foldable foam sleeping pad for sleeping and using as a sit-pad.
Recommended: Thermarest Z-Lite Sleeping pad
Two 1L Nalgene Bottles
Two 1 Liter Wide Mouth Nalgene bottles.
Recommended: Nalgene 1 L wide mouth
Should carry 70-100 ounces. Must be durable and have a reliable closure system. Recommended: MSR Dromlite 2L with Hydration Tube
I’d give them 7 stars if I could!
“Super happy with our Mt. Shasta 3-Day ski guided by Tim Mincey from Alpenglow. The Alpenglow team was very helpful and responsive in getting our trip planned and booked. Tim did a superb job–not only coaching us on ski mountaineering basics and safety–but also making adjustments to our plan based on day-to-day weather. Everyone in our skiing party was thinking about what next adventure we can book with Alpenglow before we even got off the mountain. I’d give them 7 stars if I could!”