Mt Shasta – The Jewel of Northern California
Rising almost 10,000ft above the surrounding terrain, Mt. Shasta is a true gem of California. Its smooth slopes and craggy ridges that fall for thousands of feet in all directions from the lofty summit have long been a magnet for adventurers and we couldn’t be happier to now offer climbing and ski trips on this iconic mountain.
Clocking in at 14,179’/4,322m, Mount Shasta is a large stratovolcano anchoring the southern end of the Cascade Range, along with Lassen Peak. This mountain has been the focus of climbers, skiers, poets, authors and other adventurers, drawn to its brilliant white slopes that can be seen from far and wide. Shasta is made up of 4 overlapping dormant volcano cones, with the intact satellite of Shastina 12,330’/3,760m still showing its summit crater. There are 7 named glaciers cascading down its northern and eastern flanks, with the Whitney and Hotlum glaciers being the largest. The first known ascent was made in 1854 by a local team led by Elias Pearce, and has been explored and enjoyed by countless adventurers in the years since. Mount Shasta City is located at the foot of the peak, offering a wonderful base camp for all trips on the mountain.
There are many established routes on the mountain, from the famous “Avalanche Gulch” to the complex and more remote “Hotlum Glacier”. Climbing the mountain is no small feat- the icy and snow-covered terrain can be challenging to negotiate, and one must gain around 7,000′ to reach the top. For a first-timer, Avalanche Gulch offers a rewarding, direct 2-day route to the summit, passing by the historic “Horse Camp”, and takes a direct line up the peak that is visible from town. For skiers and riders, the West face offers a more secluded 3-day experience, with the massive face rising above the scenic camp in Hidden Valley. This camp also offers access to the incredibly smooth flanks of Shastina- a skier and rider’s paradise! Traveling around to the northeastern side of the peak, one enters a glaciated world of ice and crevasses, with numerous complex routes crossing these massive sheets of ice. One of our favorites is the Hotlum glacier. It is a perfect training ground for those wanting to learn the intricacies of glacier travel and crevasse rescue, our 4-day training course is a great way to prepare for larger and more complex mountains around the world.
The Alpenglow difference
With countless expeditions to high-altitude peaks around the world over the last 15 years, we bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to our beloved “home mountain”. Our teaching and guiding philosophy has been honed from the flanks of the Himalayan giants to the technical peaks of Peru, and we are beyond excited to be able to bring our program to this fantastic mountain. In addition to our international expedition roots, we are accredited by the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA), being one of the very few guide services in the region to hold such a high standard. Each of our guides is trained by the AMGA in the terrain in which they operate, and the program is supervised by internationally licensed IFMGA mountain guides. This high standard, along with our many years of experience, translates to a fantastic mountain adventure!