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Mt. Shasta winter ascent via the Casaval Ridge (3 days)

Mt. Shasta winter ascent via the Casaval Ridge (3 days)

Join a certified guide from SWS Mountain Guides and take on the captivating mountaineering challenge of Mt. Shasta with a three-day winter ascent of Casaval Ridge, gaining valuable experience on an iconic mountain and exploring the stunning scenery of California in the high altitudes of the Cascades.


Cascade Range

3 Days

Feb - May




* Summit the fifth tallest mountain in all of California at 4,322 meters.

* Climb in the rugged and beautiful Cascade Mountains on the west coast.

* Learn valuable techniques and tips from a knowledgeable guide.


Take on the indomitable Mt. Shasta and spend three days climbing the Casaval Ridge for a true winter adventure! This guided ascent follows a classic route to an excellent summit, providing practical instruction that will help you develop as a mountaineer and prepare you for a slew of future objectives!

Mt. Shasta, located at the southern end of the Cascade Mountains, is the fifth-tallest mountain in California. It’s 4,322-meter peak is also the second highest in the entire range. As a stratovolcano, it has developed into a complex geological objective for mountaineers because of its steep faces, glacier traverses, and high-altitude mixed climbing.

Your program will deliver you all of these climbing gems as you take three days to reach the summit. Following the popular Casaval Ridge Route, we will encounter steep rock faces, jagged ascents, and unbelievable views all the way up to the top. The ascent is perfect for intermediate and advanced mountaineers who have previous experience with crampons and ice axes.

The trip will start early from our offices, heading to the Bunny Flat Trailhead on the south side of the mountain. Snowshoeing to the base camp at Casaval Ridge puts us at 10,000 feet (about 3,050 meters) and ready to push for the summit on the following day.

For optimal conditions, we begin the summit day at around 2:00am with the intention of returning to the high camp by late afternoon. The final day is reserved for breaking down the camp and returning to the trailhead.

Our route will feature steep terrain and exciting technical maneuvers. The climb will combine a review and monitored application of techniques before putting them into practice on the challenging obstacles towards the summit. This is a great experience to propel you towards even taller objectives like Denali and the volcanoes of Mexico.

You should be in great shape for this climb and ready for multiple days on the mountain. Previous experience is necessary to participate in the program, as is the mental fortitude to be able to successfully complete this daunting ascent.

Book this incredible 3-day winter mountaineering program up Mt. Shasta NOW and follow the Casaval Ridge to one of the most exhilarating ascents in California and the entire Cascade Range!

Price includes

- Guiding fee

- Breakfast

- Dinner

- Permit and entrance fees

- Tents

- Rope

- Cooking utensils

- Harness

- Helmet

- Avalanche equipment

- Ice axe

Price details

Professional instruction/guide, breakfast(s), dinner(s), ice axes, helmets, harness, group climbing equipment including ropes and avalanche safety equipment, group camping equipment including tents and stoves, permits, and permit fees including Mt. Shasta summit fees. NOT Included but available for rent: Mountaineering Boots, Snowshoes (early season), and Cramponsavailable for rent from SWS Mountain Guides. For more details about equipment, please see our equipment list for this climb.


More info

The group size is limited to six (6) participants. The price does NOT include lunches and snacks, sleeping bags, crampons, mountaineering boots, and snowshoes. If you would like information on available rentals, please contact us upon booking. Suggested lunch possibilities are bagels, cheese, dried fruit, trail mix, Clif bars, etc.

Meeting point

We will meet at 8:00am at our Mt. Shasta Office. Contact us upon booking to confirm our meeting location.


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

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 Casaval Ridge 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 - 55 lbs pack / 18 kg- 23 kg pack
  1. Be able to move efficiently off of maintained trails on steep hard snow, soft snow, rock scramble and talus. Using large step ups and step-downs, and 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 4-8 hours and time to the summit from high camp is 6-8 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

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

Not available on this climb

How will accommodation and meals be handled on the mountain?

Accommodations are tents which are provided, our guides will be providing hot water for hot drinks, instant cereal, freeze dried dinners and for filling water bottles for drinking.

What happens in the event of bad weather?

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?

Yes, Intermediate to Advanced. Participants should be in excellent physical condition. Our backpacks will weigh anywhere from 40 to 55 pounds. Previous mountaineering experience is required (knowledge of knots, belays, crampon and ice ax use). Completion of our Basic and Advanced Winter Mountaineering Course qualifies as sufficient training experience.

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 to climb Casaval Ridge is March through May

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.

What is the elevation gain and loss on this Mt Shasta Climb?

Mt Shasta Casaval Ridge 3 Days:

Day One: Bunny Flat Elevation: 6,950 ft. to 10,000 ft – 3,050 elevation gain / 930 meters

Day Two: High Camp: 10,000 ft to 14,179 – 4,179 ft / 1274 meters - Elevation loss with 14,0179 ft to 10,000 – 4,179 ft / 1274 meters

Day Three: High Camp: 10,000 ft to 6,950 - Loss – 3,050 elevation gain / 930 meters

About the guide

Guide profile image




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 this trip



Our guide Eric was exceptional. I am convinced that without his expertise we would not have made it to the summit. He made several game time route decisions based on the weather that ended up being the right call. Will be using SWS again for future trips.

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