Explore-Share logo and link to home

3-day Introduction to mountaineering with Mt. Shasta summit via Avalanche Gulch


Join an IFMGA-certified mountain guide for this incredibly fun, scenic and informative 3-day mountaineering course. Learn the basics of this incredible sport right on the slopes of Mt Shasta and finish off the course with an ascent of the mountain via Avalanche Gulch.

Private and Group

Cascade Range

3 Days

Jun, Jul, Aug


First Time


  • Learn all the basics of mountaineering right on Mt Shasta's slopes.
  • Enjoy the stunning alpine scenery of California's Cascade Range.
  • Conquer the second highest peak in the range and fifth highest in the state.


Situated at the southern end of the Cascade Range in northern California, Mt Shasta is the perfect destination for an introduction to mountaineering!

Over the course of our three days together, we will climb up to the summit of the 14,179 foot high volcano and go over essential mountaineering skills and techniques as we go.

The fun begins on day one when we meet up in the town of Mt Shasta and carpool out to the trailhead. From here, we will hike up to our base camp at the bottom of Avalanche Gulch through, passing through some stunning alpine scenery.

The rest of the first day as well as all of the second one will be spent going over how to properly use ice axes and crampons, ice axe self-arrest techniques, route finding, mountain awareness, setting up camps and other safety skills.

The third day will easily be the highlight of the trip. Getting an alpine start, at about 1 to 2 am, we will climb over the glacier and up to the top of the mountain.

The feeling of summiting the second highest peak in the range as well as the fifth highest in California is incredible, as are the views that come with it.

So what are you waiting for? Book now for this informative and inspiring 3-day mountaineering course that finishes off by climbing of Mt Shasta!

If you like the look of this trip, but are looking to try out something a bit different, then we think you will also enjoy our 2-day introduction to backcountry skiing on Mt Shasta!

Price includes

- Guiding fee

- Permit and entrance fees

- Breakfast

- Dinner

- Rope

- Harness

- Helmet

- Ice axe

- Camping equipment tents

Price details

Professional instruction/guide, breakfast(s), dinner(s), ice axe, helmet, harness, group-climbing equipment

including ropes and safety equipment, group camping equipment including tents and stoves, permits, and permit fees

including Mt. Shasta summit fees. Mountaineering Boots, Snowshoes (early season), and Crampons are NOT included, but

are available for rent from SWS Mountain Guides


More info

Please contact us for a complete list of what is included.

Meeting point

Mt. Shasta, California

Equipment you will need to bring


Ice axe





Belay device

Watter bottle

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any other special requirements such as permits/insurance/vaccines that we need to consider before the tour?

What is the guide-to-client ratio to climb this mountain?

Can I join a group?

How will accommodation and meals be handled on the mountain?

What is the best time of the year to climb this mountain?

What experience and how fit do I need to be to climb this mountain? Is this program suitable for children or older people?

How far in advance should I start training and what kind of training do you suggest?

What happens in the event of bad weather?

Will I need to bring any technical equipment of my own? Is it possible to rent equipment, and if so, what would be the approximate cost of that?

Will there be porters to help to carry group and personal equipment?

About the guide

Since 1981, we have been California's leader in guided mountaineering. From the Eastern Sierra to Mt. Shasta, we guide all of California 14ners and internationally.





What people are saying about this trip

Oz Pena


June, 2021

Overall, the fair evaluation for the SWS Mountain Guides and the guide assigned to me is 3 stars. Reasons: 1. The guide did not seem to remember or respect the fact that I was new to mountaineering and that the name of program is called “introduction to mountaineering...”. For example, the guide set his own time for walking and resting without any concern to my physical ability for that timing. The guide walked ahead many times and didn’t even notice when I fell a few times. I understand the guide is not the insurer of safety or a hand holder, but a complete abrasive approach to the service is not right, especially when it’s a paid service. Perhaps, the guide is not a right choice for introduction tours. 2. There was a miscommunication with timing of the summit day. I thought we would start summiting around 5am the next day; however, I was told less than 15 hours before that we would start hiking at 1am the next day from base camp. We arrived at base camp early afternoon, and I’m wired up, hot, and not prepared to fall asleep between 5pm-12am, thus, I didn’t sleep at all. I attempted the summit hike but around 12k feet the sleep deprivation was killing me and I was catching myself falling asleep and my body trying to lay down while waking. The guide didn’t seem to concerned about this. Lack of empathy. Eventually, I had to insist we turn around because I didn’t want to go beyond 30 hours of no sleep and still have to descend from the summit. 3. The guide did help set up the tent and food. The guide did explain layers of clothes on and off and why. The guide did help instruct how to pack and why. 4. Overall, I feel this guide is best suited for advanced climbers not introduction courses as he seems to be more of a “ill walk ahead of you” not “ill walk with you” type of guide.


You may also like


Find more mountaineering trips in United States


Join our newsletter!

Stay up-to-date on the best adventures.