Mount Shasta Climb – South Face

Trip Length 3 Days
Group Size 4 - 16
Activity level
Starting from
$1,499 for REI Members
$1,619 for non-members
Departures May 2023-Jun 2023

Spectacular views, challenging routes and plenty of personal instruction, a 3-day ascent of Mount Shasta’s South Face is an unforgettable achievement.

At 14,179 feet, Mt. Shasta is the second highest volcanic peak in the Cascade Range. Physically challenging with stunning scenery along the way, Shasta is a great endeavor for novice and experienced climbers alike. We start our ascent around 7,000 feet and traveling up to about 8,000 feet to set-up base camp. Once camp is set up, we learn the skills needed to make our summit bid including the basics of ice axe and crampon use, climbing techniques and an introduction to roped travel. We ascend the route at a pace that gives us time for plenty of instruction and practice as we make our climb. The mountain's towering summit is the perfect reward after a demanding but fun ascent.

Depending on snowpack climbers may ascend Avalanche Gulch, Clear Creek or an alternate route offering favorable conditions.

Trip Highlights

  • Climb the second highest volcanic peak in the Cascades
  • Learn and practice mountaineering skills needed to tackle the summit
  • Undertake a rewarding challenge with a payoff of amazing views

Activities

This trip is rated Strenuous (5). We climb for 4 hours or more on most days at altitudes between 6,500’ – 14,000’ while carrying heavy packs on sometimes steep snow and ice. We gain over 2,000’ in elevation most days. On our summit day we may hike as much as 12-14 hours as we ascend about 5,000’ then immediately descend 7,500’ back down.

The final route selection is made based on current conditions and annual snowpack. Climbing environment may include a combination of rough climbers trails, minor scrambling, scree fields, snow, and icy glacial travel. The terrain and conditions may require the use of specialized equipment for climbing ice or snow, including ropes, harnesses, helmets, crampons, ice axes and more. Previous snow/ice travel and mountaineering experience is highly recommended and we ask you to review your personal health and preparation plan with your medical physician prior to traveling.

  • 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.

Accommodations

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

Your Adventure Itinerary

Itinerary map for Mount Shasta Climb – South Face
Note

Due to unpredictable weather and annual snowpack on Mt. Shasta our daily itinerary and final route choice may vary.

Day 1

Climb to your first camp today with time to review mountaineering basics

Your trip begins this morning in Mount Shasta City. After a brief orientation, we caravan in our own vehicles to the trailhead. You should expect to add approximately 8-10 pounds of group gear to your personal pack. We start our ascent around 7,000 ft. and travel up to about 8,000 ft. to set-up base camp. Once camp is set up, we will spend time going over the essentials of mountain travel and safety. This will include climbing techniques and if route conditions require them the basics of ice axe, crampon use and traveling together as a rope team. After our technique and safety training we enjoy an early dinner and retire to our sleeping bags. Dinner included.

Mileage: ~2.5 miles; 2-3 hours. Elevation gain ~1,000 ft.

Day 2

Ascend to the higher second camp, and practice climbing skills along the way

Today we climb to about 10,000 ft. and set up our high camp. Expect to climb for 4 or more hours today. If weather permits, we can continue working on climbing skills before dinner. We’ll finish the night early in preparation for a pre-dawn summit attempt. Breakfast and dinner included.

Mileage: ~2.5 miles; 4-5 hours. Elevation gain ~2,000 ft.

Day 3

Aim for the summit of Mt. Shasta!

Summit day! Our summit attempt commences between 2:00 am and 3:00 am. The local guide team will choose the most suitable route based on current conditions and snowpack. Early season departures are most likely to experience a typical snow and ice mountaineering environment. During years of low snowpack, mid to late season routes may be a combination of rough climbers trails, minor scrambling, and scree fields, making snow climbing equipment mostly unnecessary. Our turnaround time may be as early 11:00 am in order to avoid potentially serious hazards that tend to manifest in the afternoon. After our summit bid the descent to camp may take 2.5 to 4.5 hours. From camp, we pack up and make our final descent to the trailhead arriving back in the late afternoon. Due to fatigue, you may want to consider spending another night in the local area before starting your return travel home. Breakfast included.

Mileage: ~2.5 miles to summit, ~7 miles descent; 12-14 hour total. Elevation: 4,000-5,000 ft. gain, 7,000-8,000 ft. loss.

Itinerary map for Mount Shasta Climb – South Face

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 1 (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales ( 1 (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.