Mount Shasta Climb – North Face

Trip Length 3 Days
Group Size 4 - 16
Activity level
Starting from
$849 for REI Members
$949 for non-members
Departures Jul 2020-Jul 2020

Spend three days learning the finer points of mountaineering on Mount Shasta’s northeastern face.

Mt. Shasta, the second highest peak in the Cascade Range, offers stupendous views and the perfect location to learn and practice mountaineering skills. Climbers come here each year for the amazing scenery and challenging peaks, and they are not disappointed. Physically challenging, our summit attempt ascends the northeast face of the mountain, gaining more than 7,000 feet in two days. We camp on the mountain in backcountry basecamp—comfortable accommodations beneath the vast sky.

We start our ascent at about 7,000 feet and climb through the day to 9,400 feet. Once we arrive and camp is set up, we take some time to cover the basics of ice axe and crampon use, specific climbing techniques, as well as an introduction to roped travel in preparation for our summit attempt. Our professional guides are expert climbers, leading our ascent up the mountain. A successful summit attempt leaves us full of personal accomplishment, knowledge of mountaineering skills, and new memories with like-minded adventurers.

We also offer more departures in the spring and summer via Shasta's South Face.

Trip Highlights

  • Be rewarded with stunning views atop one of North America's largest mountains
  • Learn mountaineering from professional instructors and guides
  • Accomplish an amazing, unforgettable personal feat


This trip is rated Strenuous (5). We climb for 5 hours or more on most days at altitudes between 7,000’ – 14,000’ while carrying heavy packs on sometimes steep snow and ice. We gain over 3,000’ in elevation our first day and drop the same on the final day. On our summit day we may hike as much as 12 hours as we ascend about 5,000’ then immediately descend the same route back to high camp.

The terrain and conditions will require the use of specialized equipment for climbing ice or snow, including ropes, harnesses, helmets, crampons, ice axes and more. Previous experience is highly recommended and a physician’s release is required.

  • Mountaineering

What's Included

Professional instruction and guiding; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; 2- or 3-person tents; group climbing equipment and cooking gear; group first-aid kit, water filter; campsite and summit permit fees

This trip is conducted by Shasta Mountain Guides, llc. Shasta Mountain Guides operates under a Special Use permit of the Shasta Trinity National Forest.


Camping on mountain in backcountry basecamp, 2 nights. Optional hotel night stays on either end (not included in trip price)

Your Adventure Itinerary

Route Variation

Our daily itinerary and route choice may vary based on real-time conditions on the mountain.

Final departure materials will provide more information on your specific route. Hotel night stays and dinner on the night before day one and on the last night are not included. To make a reservation at the Cold Creek Inn call 530-926-9851. Mention you are traveling with REI Adventures to receive a 15% discount. Be sure to give the Inn at least 24 hours notice.

Day 1

Climb to our first camp today and review mountaineering basics.

Your trip begins today in Mount Shasta City. Meet your climbing guide(s) at the Fifth Season Mountain Shop at 8am. After a brief orientation and gear check, we caravan in our own vehicles to the trailhead. You should expect to add 8-10 pounds of group gear to your personal pack. We start our ascent at about 7,000 ft. and climb through the day to 9,400 ft. where we'll establish our base camp. This full day of moderate/low angle climbing may take anywhere from 4 to 5 hours, with a stop along the way for lunch. Once we arrive and camp is set up, we begin "Snow School" and cover the basics of ice axe and crampon use, specific climbing techniques, as well as an introduction to roped travel in preparation for our summit attempt. After snow school, enjoy an early dinner and retire to our sleeping bags. Dinner included.

Climbing: 3-4 mile; 4-6 hours. Elevation gain: ~2,500 ft.

Day 2

The summit of Mt. Shasta is our goal today!

Summit day! Our summit attempt commences between 2:00 am and 3:00 am. Our turnaround time may be as early 11:00 am in order to avoid potentially-serious hazards that tend to manifest in the afternoon. If possible we'll utilize the impressive Hotlum-Bolam Ridge route, depending on current conditions. The descent back to camp may take 2.5 to 4.5 hours. Breakfast and dinner included.

Mileage 3-4 miles; 10-12 hours. Elevation gain/loss: ~5,000 ft.

Day 3

Our last day on the mountain, we make our descent.

Today we'll enjoy a leisurely breakfast, pack and descend from camp back to the trailhead. The descent usually takes 3 to 3.5 hours. We expect to be back between 1pm and 2pm. Although we will be returning fairly early in the day, you may want to consider another night stay at the hotel as you are likely to be tired. If you do choose to travel on this day, we suggest you book late flights. Breakfast included.

Note: On occasion if weather prevents us from making a summit attempt on day two, we may opt to change the summit climb until day three. If this occurs, we will be back to town very late on day three.

Mileage: ~3.5 miles; 2-4 hours. Elevation loss: ~2,500 ft.

Gear List

Having the proper gear is vital to your comfort and safety. This gear list that has been specifically designed for this trip. We are often asked if all items appearing on this list are really required. Our guides assert that climbers must arrive prepared as indicated, but please keep in mind that not all gear will be required for all departures. The weather and terrain conditions on Mount Shasta at the time of your arrival will dictate what clothing and equipment you will be required to carry to base camp and what (if anything) can be left behind. If you do not already own all of the necessary gear and are not certain if you will participate in mountaineering trips on a regular basis, please consider renting.

What to pack

You might also consider

Travel documents

  • Final Bulletin (Emailed Prior to Departure Date)

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 800-622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.