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Climb Mt. Shasta in California via the Hotlum-Bolam Ridge route, 3 days

Ascend the Cascade Range on Mount Shasta via the Hotlum-Bolam Ridge on a 3-day climb with fully-qualified SWS Mountain Guides.




Cascade Range


3 Days


Apr - Sep


Extremely Fit




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  • Ascend the Cascade Mountains and summit Mount Shasta.
  • Capture the scenic beauty of wild California.
  • Benefit from having a fully-qualified guide with you all the way.


Standing at the southern end of the Cascade Range in California is the volcano of Mount Shasta, the second-highest in the mountain range.

Measuring 4,322 meters above sea level, the volcano provides spectacular natural views and challenging climbs.

Our ascent will follow the Hotlum-Bolam Ridge that is ideal for intermediate climbers seeking to heighten their experience on alpine routes.

Ascending the summit will reward you with vistas of distant northern California as well as southern Oregon. During clear days we’ll be able to glimpse Mount Hood in the Southern Cascades.

As well as climbing you’ll be instructed on a number of techniques ideal for intermediates. Beginning with basic crampon use, ice axe belay, and glissading, we’ll move on to proper usage of rope, quick safety belays, ice anchors and team techniques.

If there’s time then we’ll develop other areas of climbing skills, such as pacing technique, and route selection and decision making.

Once we arrive on the north side of Mount Shasta we will hike to camp that lies at the base of the Hotlum-Bolam Ridge. After acclimatizing we’ll begin our ascent to the summit via the ridge.

Basic mountaineering skills and experience is necessary to join this climb.

Get in touch now to reserve your place on a 3-day climb to the summit of Mount Shasta via the Hotlum-Bolam Ridge in California.

Price includes

- Guiding fee

- Breakfast

- Dinner

- Rope

- Harness

- Helmet

- Ice axe

- Camping equipment tents

Price details

Price includes: Professional instruction/guide, breakfast(s), freeze dried dinner(s), ice axes, helmets, harness, group equipment including ropes and safety equipment, group camping equipment including tents and stoves, permits, and license fees including Mt. Shasta summit fees. Mountaineering Boots, Snowshoes (early season), and Crampons are NOT included but are available for rent. Please check with us for the full rental equipment list. Food: Group breakfast(s), dinner(s), and hot beverages included. Please bring your own favorite, high-calorie, high-carbohydrate lunches and snacks. Examples: bagels, cheese, dried fruit, trail mix, Clif bars, chocolate, etc.

Secure your spot with just 25% payment

48-hour free cancellation with 30-day advance booking


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

Prerequisites: Previous mountaineering experience recommended. Specifically it would be helpful for you to know the

following skills to participate in this course: Ice Ax and Crampon use, Glissading, basic knots, and basic belaying. The better

shape you are in, the more enjoyable the climb will be for you as well, see below.

Physical Conditioning:

Climbing Mt Shasta at 14,179 ft. is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. It requires both physical and mental toughness. Listed below are the minimum physical requirements we would expect for all of our clients before they show up to climb Mt Shasta via the Avalanche Gulch route:

  1. Be able to maintain 600 ft -700 ft feet per hr / 185 to 215 meters per hr climbing pace AND be able to maintain this pace for 1-hour increments.
  1. Carry a 40 lbs - 45 lbs pack / 18 kg-23 kg pack
  1. Be able to move efficiently off of maintained trails on hard snow, soft snow, rocks and talus. Using large step ups and step-downs, and some movements requiring the whole body while carrying a pack.
  1. A client who can do 750 feet per hr with a loaded pack (235 meters per hr) with 25-30 lb / 11-14 kg pack on a stair climber, stepper or stair running should have the fitness to climb Mt Shasta
  1. Plus, Weekend training hikes 8-10 miles /12-16 kilometers with a loaded pack 25-30 lbs /11-14 kilos over the hilly terrain a client has access too is also recommend prior to your climb.

Note: Time to basecamp on Mt Shasta is 4-6 hours and time to the summit from basecamp is 5-8 hours.

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

We recommend 3-4 months before the climb if you have not been climbing or hiking extensively prior to your climb date.

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?

You will need to bring your own sleeping bag, internal frame backpack, and mountaineering boots, and crampons All are available for rent: Sleeping bags & Pad ($42.00 for 2-3 days), Backpacks ($42.00 for 2-3 days) and Boots ($45.00 for 2-3 days) Crampons ($25.00 for 2-3 days) We also have Gaitors, Down Jackets, Hard Shell Jackets, & trekking poles for rent

1:3/4 guide to client ratio

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

Porters are available by reservation on all Mt. Shasta climbs cost $200 each way. Porter’s loads are limited to a maximum of 45 lbs.

How will accommodation and meals be handled on the mountain?

Our guides will be providing hot water for hot drinks, instant cereal, freeze dried dinners and for filling water bottles for drinking. SWS Mountain Guides provides Tents while on the Mount Shasta.

What happens in the event of bad weather?

Weather Credits and Rescheduled Climbs & Courses:

SWS Mountain Guides aka Sierra Wilderness Seminars Inc. reserves the right to reschedule seminars and courses due to severe weather conditions or other uncontrollable circumstances which make the course or climb unsafe to continue. Weather Credit or Weather Partial Credit will be given for courses or climbs during or within 24 hrs of the course start dates if severe weather conditions or other uncontrollable circumstances make the course or climb unsafe to continue. Our decision will be at the discretion of the climb leader and the Director(s) of SWS Mountain Guides.

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

We recommend trip cancellation insurance.

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

1:3 guide to client ratio

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

Best time for a Summer Ascent of the Hotlum-Bolam Ridge on Mt Shasta mid June through September.

Can I join a group?

Yes, you may join a group; please see the regular schedule departure listed. You may also request a custom climb of Mt Shasta with your departure date with 3 to 8 climbers. The price is the same as our group rate. For less than three climbers, the cost for a private / custom climb is two climbers: $575.00 per person per day / 1 climber $700 per day plus Explore-Share fees.

About the guide: SWS

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Mountain 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.





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What people are saying about SWS



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.



This was an amazing trip and overall super positive experience with SWS Mountain Guides. I had a great guide with lots of mountain experience and many cool stories to share!


Had an amazing experience climbing Mt. Whitney with Richard & Tim. They were excellent guides and safely got us to the summit and back.


Neil from SWS was amazing. We climbed the Mountaineering Route up to Mt. Whitney. It was an amazing experience. The guide was knowledgeable and friendly. I leaned a lot. I would absolutely use these guys again.


Too bad this review does not allow six stars. SWS is professional, client focused, flexible, and has the clients best interests in mind. I can say the personnel and leadership skills of the SWS guides are among the best. You can't go wrong with SWS.

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