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Mount Shasta Mountaineering School

A panoramic view from the slopes of Mount Shasta. Learn mountaineering basics on Mount Shasta with Alpenglow Expeditions professional mountain guides
An early morning photo of mount Shasta covered in snow with a blue sky above.

Mount Shasta Mountaineering School

$1,995per person
Introductory 5 Days Mt. Shasta, CA
Learn the foundations of mountaineering in 5 days from our Shasta mountain guides on the northeast side of Shasta (14,180’/4,322m) via the Hotlum Glacier. This 5-day Intro To Mountaineering course will teach you the mountaineering skills and knowledge needed to form a solid foundation for the larger, more complex mountains you want to climb, all while summiting Shasta!
June 13-17
Mountaineer peering into a crevasse on Mount Shasta during an Intro To Mountaineering course with Alpenglow Expeditions
Mount Shasta casting a shadow on the surrounding mountain ranges during sunrise on a guiding climb with Alpenglow Expeditions. Climb and ski Shasta with us!

This Shasta mountaineering school and North Side summit climb is designed to prepare aspiring mountaineers for high-altitude peaks around the world.

With two days of skills training on Mount Shasta‘s Hotlum Glacier, it is the perfect opportunity to learn mountaineering skills here in California. The Northeast Side on Mount Shasta holds numerous complex routes that cross massive sheets of ice; perfect for glacial travel, crevasse rescue and snow travel skills work.


  • Introduction to Mount Shasta‘s alpine environment
  • Glacier anatomy and hazard recognition
  • Overview of equipment
  • Moving over steep snow
  • Crampons and Ice axe use
  • Diagonal and direct ascent and descent
  • Self arrest
  • Crevasse rescue
  • Basic rope-work
  • Knots and hitches
  • Snow anchors and load transfers
  • Belaying and rappelling + raising and lowering
  • Guided vs non-guided rope-work
  • Strategies to increase security


Traveling on glacial terrain can be inherently dangerous, difficult and complicated due to the variable nature of the terrain, the limited ability to scope out the hazards in advance and the serious consequences of falling into a crevasse. Even a minor fall into a crevasse can negatively affect the safety and success of the adventure.

Preventing a fall, or limiting the potential severity of a fall, into a crevasse while moving efficiently is the goal of glacier travel and requires practice and attention to detail. Further; if a fall does occur, rapid, organized and safe rescue is the goal of crevasse rescue.


After spending the last two days developing the skills necessary for a successful summit of Mount Shasta, it will be time for our own summit bid. An Alpine Start will kick off our day, as we move under the cover of the stars towards the summit. We’ll utilize all of our new skills as we climb the beautiful North Side route of Mount Shasta. After a short celebration at the summit of Mount Shasta, one of California’s most iconic peaks, we’ll begin our descent back to base camp where will we get some much needed rest before trekking back to the trailhead the following day.

The Hotlum Glacier is our first choice for this itinerary. However, depending on conditions, our guides will occasionally select a different route to accomplish the same goals.
Interested in this trip with a ski descent? Check out our Mount Shasta West Face Ski!


– Food on the mountain
– Group Gear: Tents, Camp Kitchen, etc. (Does not include bowl, fork, spoon, sleeping bag, or sleeping pad)
– Ropes and other Technical Equipment (Does not include mountaineering boots)
– Wilderness Permits
– Tahoe Guide Fees

While a background in climbing is helpful, it is not required for this introductory course.
Excellent physical fitness is required. Climbers must be able to hike for many hours at a time while carrying a pack.
Day 1
Ascend to Camp

8:00am: Meet and Greet in Town and brief for your trip
10:00am: Depart for Brewer Creek or Northgate trailhead
11:30am-4:00pm: Hike to camp
4:00pm-8:00pm: Campcraft training, dinner, and an overview of the next day’s training
8:00pm: Bed

Day 2
Skills Training on Mount Shasta’s Hotlum Glacier

7:30am: Breakfast
8:30am-3:30pm: Basic Mountaineering skills training
3:30pm-7:30pm: Dinner & evening training
8:00pm: Bed

Day 3
Skills Training on Mount Shasta’s Hotlum Glacier

7:30am: Breakfast
8:30am-3:30pm: Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue skills training
3:30pm-7:30pm: Dinner & evening training
8:00pm: Bed

Day 4
Summit Bid via Hotlum Glacier

1:00am-3:00am: (conditions dependent) Alpine start
11:00am-2:00pm: (conditions dependent) Turnaround time
Back in camp by mid-afternoon

Day 5
Descend to Trailhead

7:30am: Breakfast
8:30am: Depart for trailhead
11:30am: Arrive at trailhead

Meet Your Mount Shasta Guides.

Mount Shasta Mountaineering Questions

The answers to our most commonly asked questions about mountaineering on Mount Shasta