3-Day West Face Ski Trip

3 days in / (Skill level: Advanced)

Price per person

$1095
  • Next Available: Apr 29, 2022 - May 01, 2022
  • Upcoming: May 06, 2022 - May 08, 2022
  • May 13, 2022 - May 15, 2022
  • May 20, 2022 - May 22, 2022
  • May 27, 2022 - May 29, 2022
  • Jun 03, 2022 - Jun 05, 2022
  • Jun 10, 2022 - Jun 12, 2022
  • Jun 17, 2022 - Jun 19, 2022
  • Jun 24, 2022 - Jun 26, 2022
  • Jul 01, 2022 - Jul 03, 2022
  • Jul 08, 2022 - Jul 10, 2022
  • Jul 15, 2022 - Jul 17, 2022
  • Jul 22, 2022 - Jul 24, 2022
  • Jul 29, 2022 - Jul 31, 2022

About this trip

Summit Mount Shasta and experience 4,000+ feet of incredible skiing on the massive West Face. This 3-day ski mountaineering trip is the perfect opportunity for advanced backcountry skiers to learn the skills they need and gain confidence to ski bigger, more technical lines, while also getting some fantastic views atop this 14,169 ft volcano.

Due to poor conditions on the peak, we will unfortunately not be running any ski expeditions for the 2021 Mount Shasta season. However, all of our 2022 dates are up and available to book. Plan your ski adventure for next year!

Overview

  • skill level

    Advanced

  • Duration

    3 days

This 3-day ski mountaineering trip 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 the West Face.

On day one you’ll ascend to Hidden Valley, where you will set up camp, go over basic snow climbing and ski mountaineering techniques, and discuss the next day. With an alpine start on day 2, you will summit the peak by late morning/early afternoon and then make long ski descent down the wide-open terrain of the West Face, all the way back to camp. Day 3, you’ll have breakfast at camp, while enjoying the awe-inspiring views from Hidden Valley and ski down to the trailhead.

For especially motivated groups, it is possible to tag Shastina on day 3 before heading down, an incredible ski experience in its own right.

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, using ice axe and crampons
  • Basic rope techniques for steep ground and glacial travel
  • Use of ski crampons

Who Can Participate?

The West Face of Mount Shasta will be an extremely fun ski descent for both experienced “big mountain” skiers and those looking to move into bigger terrain from  their local mountains. Advanced level skiers and riders with 25+days of touring experience are welcome.

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 ski boots, skis, skins, or avalanche safety equipment)
  • 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

    Skiers and splitboarders must be experienced backcountry riders, with 25+ days of touring experience. Advanced level skiing and riding is required. This is comparable to confidently skiing off-piste black diamond terrain in a variety of snow conditions.

    • 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 West Face

      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 — Descend to Trailhead

      7:30am Breakfast
      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)

      • 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

      • Goggles

        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: Smith I/O MAG

      • Ski Helmet

        A ski specific helmet that is less than 10 years old. Recommended: Scott Couloir Mountain 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

      • 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! Recommended: Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro or Zero G Tour Scout

      • Ski Socks

        Your everyday ski sock, good for ski tours and day hikes. NO COTTON. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Merino Wool Ski Socks

      • 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

      • 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

      • 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

      • 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

      • Ski/Technical Equipment

      • Belay Device

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

      • Accessory Cord

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

      • Locking Carabiner (2)

        Lightweight small carabiners are best. Recommended: Petzl Attache

      • Non-Locking Carabiner (2)

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

      • 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.

      • Ice Axe - Ski Mountaineering

        A small, light weight ice axe designed for ski mountaineering. Typically between 45cm and 55cm. Recommended: Petzl Ride

      • Backcountry Touring Pack

        Internal frame pack that is between 30 and 40 liters and is designed to carry skis or a splitboard. Either purchase a matching pack cover, or use garbage bags as liners. Recommended: Black Diamond Cirque 35 or 45 Pack

      • 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: Blizzard Zero G 105 Skis Recommended Bindings: Dynafit Speed Radical

      • Skins

        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 Ascension Nylon STS Recommended for Splitboards: Black Diamond Ascension Splitboard STS

      • Ski/Splitboard Crampons

        While these are optional, they are strongly recommended by our guides. These will be 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: Dynafit Ski Crampons

      • Ski/Splitboard Poles

        Adjustable ski poles with powder baskets. Recommended: Black Diamond Expedition 2 or Expedition 3 Poles

      • Snowboard Boots

        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

      • Splitboard

        A splitboard that you are comfortable riding in a variety of conditions. Recommended: Jones Solution Splitboard

      • Splitboard Bindings

        Splitboard bindings are required for uphill travel. Be sure to adjust the straps to your boots before using. Recommended: Spark R&D Arc Bindings

      • Avalanche Transceiver

        A digital transceiver that is simple to use or that you are extremely comfortable using. Recommended: Black Diamond Recon BT Avalanche Beacon

      • Shovel

        A lightweight metal avalanche rescue shovel. Extendable handle is recommended. Recommended: Black Diamond Transfer 3 Shovel

      • Probe

        A strong, lightweight avalanche probe, 260-300cm. Recommended: Black Diamond QuickDraw Tour Probe 280

    • Would you consider organizing a custom ski trip 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!

    • What is your cancellation policy?

    • Do I have enough experience for this trip?

      Skiers must be confident on a variety of terrain, including off-piste black diamond-caliber descents. 25+ days of prior ski touring experience is required, and excellent physical fitness is important.

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 Dobbins

With notable first descents in the Alps, Tim Dobbins represents Alpenglow’s cutting edge guiding philosophy providing only the best guides for every trip and expedition.

Growing up in Oregon, Tim started out skiing at the young age of 4 years old. Tim grew up ski racing for 9 years before he moved on to backcountry skiing in Aspen, Colorado. He spent 4 years working as ski patrol at Snowmass Ski Resort.

Tim moved to Chamonix in the mid-’90s where he spent 6 seasons skiing and climbing while studying French. Tim says that Chamonix is where he really started learning how to ski tour, rock climb, ice climb and eventually began skiing the steepest lines he could find.

Examples of those steep lines were the North-East face of Les Courtes, Couloir Barbey from Aiguille D’Argentiere, Couloir Couturier from L’Aiguille Verte, Couloir du Diable on Mont Blanc du Tacul, East face of the Matterhorn and many, many others.

Tim has spent the last 10 years guiding and instructing in rock, ice, alpine, and skiing. He is an AMGA/IFMGA mountain guide, and lives on Donner Lake in Truckee with his wife Gisele, sweet daughter Manue and son Matisse.

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

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

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.

What others are saying about this trip

Expedition Inquiry Form

  • Have questions about this trip?

    3-Day West Face Ski Trip

3-Day West Face Ski Trip

Summit Mount Shasta and experience 4,000+ feet of incredible skiing on the massive West Face. This 3-day ski mountaineering trip is the perfect opportunity for advanced backcountry skiers to learn the skills they need and gain confidence to ski bigger, more technical lines, while also getting some fantastic views atop this 14,169 ft volcano.

Due to poor conditions on the peak, we will unfortunately not be running any ski expeditions for the 2021 Mount Shasta season. However, all of our 2022 dates are up and available to book. Plan your ski adventure for next year!