3-Day West Face Climb

3 days in / (Skill level: Any)

Price per person

$1095
  • Next Available: May 14, 2021 - May 16, 2021
  • Upcoming: May 28, 2021 - May 30, 2021
  • Jun 11, 2021 - Jun 13, 2021
  • Jun 25, 2021 - Jun 27, 2021
  • Jul 16, 2021 - Jul 18, 2021

About this trip

Climb Mount Shasta via the secluded West Face while learning important mountaineering skills. Spending 3 days on the peak is the ideal amount of time to learn basic mountaineering skills and also take a crack at the summit, while basing out of the quiet, beautiful Hidden Valley. Due to poor conditions on the West Face this season, we will instead be running our 3-day climbing trips on the north side, via the Hotlum Bolam Ridge and Hotlum Glacier.

Overview

  • skill level

    Any

  • Duration

    3 days

This 3-day summit climb is the perfect blend of a skills course and summit climb. We’ve found that this amount of time offers the highest success rate for teams, while still covering all the skills required to efficiently climb the peak.

On day one you’ll ascend to Hidden Valley, where you will set up camp, go over basic snow climbing techniques, and brief for the next day. With an alpine start on day 2, your route takes you up the West Face and on towards the summit. Summiting around midday, you’ll descend back to camp for a leisurely afternoon/evening enjoying the magnificent views from camp and a tasty dinner. Day 3, you’ll have a relaxed breakfast at camp, and then descend down to the trailhead.

The West Face is our first choice for this itinerary. However, depending on conditions, our guides will occasionally select a different route to accomplish the same goals.

Skills Covered

  • Basic snow climbing, including the use of ice axe and crampons, as well as self-arrest
  • Basic rope techniques

Who Can Participate

This trip is the ideal first introduction to big mountain climbing. No previous climbing experience is required. Previous hiking experience is required.

What’s Included

  • 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
  • Guide Fees

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!

Alpenglow Expeditions operates under a special use permit from the Tahoe, Inyo, Eldorado, and Shasta-Trinity National Forests. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Preparation

  • Fitness

    Excellent physical fitness is required. Climbers must be able to hike for many hours at a time while carrying a pack.

  • Technical Experience

    No previous technical experience required.

    • 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, 9200ft and set up camp
      4:00pm - 5:00pm Climbing training
      5:30pm-7:30pm Dinner, Climb briefing, packing
      8:00pm Bed

    • Day 2 — Summit Attempt via the West Face

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

    • Day 3 — Descend to Trailhead

      7:30am Breakfast
      9:00am Depart Hidden Valley and ski to Trailhead
      12:00pm-1:00pm Arrive at Trailhead

      • Headwear and Eyewear

      • Hat

        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 5-Panel

        $25.00
      • Beanie

        A comfortable, warm well-fitting hat that covers your ears. Make sure that one of your hats fits under a helmet. Recommended: Eddie Bauer First Slouch Beanie

      • 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 Expeditions Buff

      • Sunglasses

        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: Julbo Shield

      • Helmet

        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 at no charge from Alpenglow Expeditions on a first come, first serve basis. Recommended: Petzl Meteor Helmet

      • Hands and Feet

      • Lightweight 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: Eddie Bauer Mountain Glove

      • Midweight Gloves

        These gloves should be full GORE-TEX®, and insulated. These will be your main glove for the trip until summit days, or when it gets especially cold. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Guide Glove

      • Warm Socks

        A wool synthetic blend. Pure rag wool socks are not nearly as effective in wicking moisture or retaining their shape and reducing blisters. NO COTTON. Recommended: Smartwool Mountaineering Extra Heavy Crew Socks

      • Mountaineering Boot

        Should be warm single boots that have a stiff sole and accept a step-in crampon. The boots should be comfortable, have adequate wiggle room for your toes, and your heel should not lift more than 1/8 of an inch when walking. Recommended: La Sportiva Trango Tech GTX

      • Upper Body Apparel

      • Lightweight Top

        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. The new wool blends are also an option. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Resolution Short-Sleeve T-Shirt

      • Long Sleeve Base Layer

        A poly-pro mid-layer that you will never take off. Fitted, light- weight and quick drying. Make sure it is long enough to tuck-in and we recommend zipper collars for more ventilation. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Midweight FreeDry® Merino Hybrid Baselayer 1/4-Zip

      • Warm Layer

        A polarguard or fleece jacket. This is your mid layer that will be worn over your baselayer most of the trip. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Cloud Layer Pro 1/4 Zip or Patagonia R1 Jacket

      • Synthetic Top

        A simple, lightweight synthetic jacket. This item is good for layering systems and the Primaloft keeps you warm when wet. Recommended: Eddie Bauer IgniteLite Stretch Reversible

      • Hard Shell Jacket

        A lightweight, waterproof and breathable jacket WITH A HOOD that can withstand extreme weather conditions. Make sure you have pit-zips and if you are using an old jacket, re-waterproof it. Recommended: Eddie Bauer BC Freshline Jacket

      • Soft Shell Jacket

        While this item isn’t required, we know that those who don’t have one wish they did! More breathable than Gore-tex, these jackets block wind and light precipitation. A windshirt is an option for this layer. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Sandstone

      • Down Parka (5-6,000 Meter Peaks)

        A puffy jacket with a hood that will keep you warm during the coldest of conditions. The higher the quality down, the better (800-fill is best). However, be sure the jacket is still lightweight. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Downlight Hooded Jacket

      • Lower Body Apparel

      • Base Layer Bottoms

        Fitted and quick drying. This piece will be a base-layer that will get you through a wide range of temperatures. Recommended: SmartwoolMen's Intraknit™ Merino 250 Thermal Bottom

      • Hard Shell Pants

        Your waterproof bottom layer for extreme weather days. Make sure you have water-resistant zippers, crampon patches + good pockets. Recommended: Black Diamond Sharp End Pants

      • Soft Shell Pants

        You will spend most of your days in these pants. Choose Schoeller® or a soft-shell equivalent. Breathable + water-resistant. These pants should have an ankle zip so they will accommodate your mountain boot. Recommended:Outdoor Research Cirque II

      • Technical Equipment

      • Belay Device

        Light, easy to use + simple. Should have teeth/grooves for skinny ropes. Recommended: Petzl Reverso

      • Harness

        Must have belay loop, gear loops and adjustable leg loops so that you can layer up underneath it. Easy to pack, lightweight + comfortable. Recommended: Petzl Altitude *Harnesses are also available to rent at no charge from Alpenglow expeditions on a first come, first serve basis.

      • Accessory Cord

        25’ of 6mm nylon accessory cord. This will be used to make prusiks and cordalettes. Recommended: Sterling Ropes

      • Non-Locking Carabiner (2)

        Lightweight small carabiners are best, wire-gates are fine. Recommended: Petzl Spirit

      • Locking Carabiner (2)

        Lightweight small carabiners are best. Recommended: Petzl Attache

      • Helmet

        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 at no charge from Alpenglow Expeditions on a first come, first serve basis. Recommended: Petzl Meteor Helmet

      • Mountaineering Crampons

        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. Crampons are also available to rent at no charge from Alpenglow Expeditions on a first come, first serve basis. Recommended: Black Diamond Sabertooth Crampons

      • Waterproof Gaiters

        GORE-TEX® or Schoeller® calf- high gaiters, insulated supergaiters recommended. *Gaiters not needed if your pants and/or boots have built-in gaiters. Recommended: Outdoor Research Expedition Crocodile Gaiters (required if your boots do not have integrated gaiters)

      • General Mountaineering Axe

        One non-technical climbing axe. The tool should be approx. 55cm- 65cm long and comfortable to hold. Recommended: Petzl Summit

      • Climbing Pack

        Internal frame pack that is between 50 and 60 liters. Either purchase a matching pack cover, or use garbage bags as liners. Make sure the pack is fitted to YOUR body. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Alpine Sisu 50L Pack or Black Diamond Mission 50 Pack

    • What is your cancellation policy?

    • Would you consider organizing a custom expedition to Mt. Shasta?

      Yes! We love putting together custom expeditions. This provides more flexibility for you and provides the best overall expedition experience. Check out our private skiing and climbing options to get an idea of what we offer, and give us a call to discuss it!

    • Is it safe?

      While no outdoor adventure can be completely free of risk without losing the essence of the activity, hiring a professional guide is a fantastic way to manage and mitigate this risk. Activities like skiing and climbing have what we call “inherent risk”, which can be defined as a risk that cannot be completely mitigated by a professional. That is part of playing in the mountains, we encourage you to reach out to the office if you would like to discuss this in more detail.

Logan Talbott

co-owner / chief guide

Logan has been guiding professionally for over a decade in the disciplines of Rock, Alpine and Ski Mountaineering. When not out guiding, Logan spends time in the office helping the team with the day-to-day operations of the business. From one day ascents of El Capitan to big Alpine climbs in the Himalaya, from ski descents on Denali to backyard ski tours in Lake Tahoe, he can’t help but smile when out running around the hills. Logan is an AMGA/IFMGA mountain guide, an Avalanche course leader with AIARE, as well as a wilderness EMT. In addition to guiding, Logan has extensive experience in mountain rescue, having worked for rescue teams in both Yosemite and Denali National Parks, and volunteering locally for Tahoe Nordic SAR. When not out in the hills, he lives in Truckee, CA with his lovely wife Lynette and daughter Maggie.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Tim Mincey

A native of Chicago, Tim grew up barely knowing that mountains existed, much less that you could climb or ski them for fun. But as an engineering student at Stanford, he managed to fall in love with snowboarding, and after college he made the move to Tahoe to ride full-time as a snowboard instructor. Once in Tahoe, Tim couldn’t wait to dive into backcountry splitboarding and rock climbing, and he is perpetually trying to make up for his late start in the mountains by climbing and snowboarding as much as possible. Tim has guided throughout California since 2011, and has a hard time imagining that he’ll ever tire of showing off the beauty of the Sierra Nevada.

He is an AMGA Assistant Rock and Splitboard Guide, Apprentice Alpine Guide, and Single Pitch Instructor, as well as an AIARE Course Leader and AASI Level 3 Snowboard Instructor. He lives in South Lake Tahoe with his girlfriend, Beth, and their Australian Shepherd, Pika.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor

Ali Agee

Growing up just outside Lake Tahoe in Reno, skiing has been keeping Ali motivated her whole life. As she grew older and gained more appreciation for moving through the mountains, whether it be on skis or via long alpine rock routes, the journey toward becoming a ski guide has only been a natural progression.

On this journey, she’s had the opportunity to ski and rock climb in multiple venues including the Sierra Nevada, Cascades, Tetons, Japan, Canada, and beyond.

Ali has experienced firsthand the transformative powers that guided trips can have on someone looking to break through comfort zone barriers. She is passionate about sharing similar soul-filling, life-changing experiences with others.

Ali is currently an AMGA apprentice ski and apprentice alpine guide, certified single pitch instructor, AIARE avalanche instructor, Pro 1 avalanche professional, Wilderness First Responder, mountain biker, and type-two fun seeker living in Truckee, CA.

Dave Nettle

Dave’s love for outdoor challenge, adventure and fun began early in his life with Boy Scout backpacking and mountaineering trips in the Pacific Northwest.

In 1972 he started his lifelong pursuit and joy of rock climbing with his first climbs deep in the Sierra Nevada backcountry, which remains his favorite mountain range to share and enjoy.

In 1975, at age 17 he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail solo from Mexico to Canada and the following year hiked the Continental Divide Trail from Canada to Mexico, sealing his passion for grand adventure and determination to accomplish what he sets out to do.

Dave’s underlying philosophy of living life fully and approaching the world of adventure travel and alpinism with “confident uncertainty” has led him to the mountain ranges of the world where his climbing accomplishments are just a part of what he values.  At the heart and soul of it all is the experience of interacting with, and learning from, the people, places and cultures along the way and sharing the challenge and beauty of wilderness with friends.

In addition to five decades of rock and alpine climbing which have included new routes and significant ascents throughout North America, South America, Africa, Europe and Asia, Dave is an accomplished ski mountaineer who hangs up his climbing shoes each winter in favor of backcountry alpine ski touring and hut to hut ski tours in the European Alps.

Dave brings 15 years of technical Rope Access and Rescue Training experience to the team.  He has helped pioneer the use of Rope Access methods to complement traditional mountaineering based techniques to improve the safety and efficiency of ski lift, gondola, high angle and crevasse rescue procedures.  He has been a SPRAT certified Rope Access Level 3 Technician since 2002.

His blend of outdoor skills, professionalism and sense of humor make for memorable trips, not to mention epic slide show presentations which he loves to share with others. Dave is the founder of a free community slideshow series in the Tahoe area that has been ongoing since 1988 and continues to inform, entertain and inspire everyone to seek out and accomplish their dreams and goals. You can learn more about the Alpenglow Winter Film Series here.

Guide Certifications
  • IRATA

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    3-Day West Face Climb

3-Day West Face Climb

Climb Mount Shasta via the secluded West Face while learning important mountaineering skills. Spending 3 days on the peak is the ideal amount of time to learn basic mountaineering skills and also take a crack at the summit, while basing out of the quiet, beautiful Hidden Valley. Due to poor conditions on the West Face this season, we will instead be running our 3-day climbing trips on the north side, via the Hotlum Bolam Ridge and Hotlum Glacier.