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.
Feb, Mar, Apr, 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!
- Guiding fee
- Permit and entrance fees
- Ice axe
- Avalanche equipment
- Camping equipment tents
- Camping equipment cooking utensils
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.
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?
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?
How will accommodation and meals be handled on the mountain?
What happens in the event of bad weather?
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?
What is the best time of the year to climb this mountain?
Can I join a group?
What is the elevation gain and loss on this Mt Shasta Climb?
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
Excellent experience with my guide Ben and SWS. Was able to summit Mt Whitney via the mountaineer’s route thanks to Ben’s understanding of the mountain and assessment of my capabilities. Great experience that exceeded my expectations.
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!
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
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