The certified guides from SWS Mountain Guides lead you on this fun and spectacular 2-day Mount Shasta ski descent via Avalanche Gulch, an epic spot widely regarded as one of the best ski descents in the country, with absolutely awesome views out over the vast Californian countryside.
Private and Group
Apr - Jun
* Ski down the mighty and majestic Mount Shasta in California!
* Climb up the mountain and set up a high base camp
* Ski down some of the best ski descent routes in the USA
* Admire the beautiful views out over the Californian scenery
Join me on this 2-day ski descent of Mount Shasta (4,321m) via Avalanche Gulch, and we will ski down and around a variety of amazing routes from up to 7,000 ft high, with some of the routes entailing some of the longest continuous ski descents in the USA, and all containing sublime views out over the Californian countryside and scenery that stretches out beneath us.
Mount Shasta is an active volcano located in the South of the Cascade Range, in California, and is the 5th-highest peak in the range. It is an extremely popular climbing and backcountry skiing destination, owing to its relatively isolated location and lack of crowds.
We meet in the morning of day 1 close to Mt. Shasta, where we will run through all relevant safety gear and information. Once that is complete we then begin climbing the mountain in earnest, with the aim of establishing a sufficiently high base camp to enable us to climb to the top of the mountain.
Before the end of day 1 we also have a quick snow and ski lesson, where we cover crampon, ice axe and self-arrest techniques that will help us with our ascent and descent of the mountain the next day.
After an early start on day 2, we head for the summit of the mountain, and once we reach it there will be ample time to admire the jaw-dropping and breath-taking views out over the Californian scenery.
It is then time for the highlight of the trip, the ski descent down the mountain. The Avalanche Gulch is considered the most classic route to take, as it provides an extremely long, beautiful and fun descent, taking in the best views of the landscape and terrain.
Our adventure finishes once we reach the bottom, hopefully having given you a thrilling experience and a desire to explore more of the mighty Mt. Shasta.
Experience the thrill of this ski descent down Mount Shasta, and book now!
- Guiding fee
Price is per person in a group of 6-8 people.
Meet in morning near Mt. Shasta, climb up mountain, set up base camp, run through basic skills and techniques.
Reach the summit of mountain, ski descend down mountain, finish.
Closest airports are Sacramento, California, or Medford, Oregon.
What experience and how fit do I need to be for this trip?
This trip does require previous mountain backcountry skiing experience. Participants should also be in good physical condition, as this adventure can be challenging at times.
How will accommodation be handled?
We'll be camping overnight at high camp on the mountain.
When and where will we meet?
We'll meet on day 1 at our SWS Mountain Guides Office in Mount Shasta, California
What is the best time of the year to embark on this trip?
April through June are the prime months for skiing in Mount Shasta.
Can I join a group?
You can join a group on one of our open group dates.
What is the guide-to-client ratio?
One guide will be assigned to every 3 participants.
How far in advance should I start training and what kind of training do you suggest?
To prepare for this trip, you should start training at least 6 months in advance. This will give you enough time to build your cardiovascular fitness, strength, and endurance.
Some ways to improve your cardiovascular fitness include running, swimming, biking, or hiking for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. You can also do strength training exercises that focus on your legs, core, and back. Additionally, consider going on long hikes or bike rides with a weighted backpack at least once per week.
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.
IFMGA | AMGA
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!
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.
Such a difficult, but the most amazing experience! Something you will never forget!
One of the best experiences we ever had. Amazing trip with lots of excitement, challenges and action - all in the most beautiful scenery. Our guide Matt played a crucial role making this trip a life time experience. Hi-fives to Matt and thanks for being the best guide! Best, Gustav and Mikael
Had an amazing experience! What memories but must be honest, we were in over our head. Feel we were physically up to it but we went from sea level to 10,000 feet in 30 hours and it was a challenge to keep up. Some time to acclimate would have made a big difference. The guides were careful and supportive. We were outside our comfort zone for sure but also realize that made it so memorable! Thanks Loren
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