Mount Shasta Climb – South Face

Trip Length 3 Days
Group Size 4 - 16
Activity level
Starting from
$1,049 for REI Members
$1,149 for non-members
Departures May 2022-Jun 2022

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. Our South Face route is a classic steep snow climb, with much to offer the beginning mountaineer.

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 begin "Snow School" and cover the basics of ice axe and crampon use, climbing techniques and an introduction to roped travel in preparation for our summit attempt. 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.

Trip Highlights

  • Climb the second highest volcanic peak in the Cascades
  • Learn and practice mountaineering skills during "Snow School" sessions
  • Undertake a rewarding challenge with a payoff of amazing views


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 hike 7,500’ back down.

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 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.


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 your first camp today with time to review mountaineering basics.

Your trip begins today in Mount Shasta City. Meet your climbing guide(s) at the Fifth Season Mountain Shop at 9:00 am. 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 traveling up to about 8,000 ft. to set-up base camp. Once camp is set up, we begin "Snow School" and cover the basics of ice axe and crampon use, climbing techniques and 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.

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 move to high camp. We hike to about 10,000 ft. and set up camp. Expect to climb for 4 or more hours today. If weather permits, we can continue working on skills before dinner and end the night with a briefing on the next day's events and plenty of rest. 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. If possible we take the Avalanche Gulch route, depending on current conditions. Our turnaround time may be as early 11:00 am in order to avoid potentially serious hazards that tend to manifest in the afternoon. Depending on conditions, then, 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. Expect to be back between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm. You may consider another night stay at the hotel as you are likely to be very tired.  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.

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.