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Mt Shasta Charity Expedition Logistics

February 24, 2014
Mt. Shasta. Photo by Colin Stapp.

Mt. Shasta. Photo by Colin Stapp.

Mt Shasta Charity Expedition Logistics

Elevation: 14,179 feet
Guide Service: Shasta Mountain Guides (SMG)
Minimum Fundraising Total: $3,000.00


Mt Shasta is the second highest volcano in the United States, and its base is more than 17 miles in diameter. Considered a major peak of the Cascade mountain range, this magnificent mountain lures people from all over the world as a premier climbing destination. In northern California, this beautiful mountain rises high above the rugged peaks around it to provide climbers with breathtaking views. Eight superb glaciers, California’s largest, adorn its flanks and are complemented by splendid meadows of wildflowers, groves of Shasta Red Firs and numerous mystical legends. We climb the Avalanche Gulch route which is considered non-technical, so climbing Shasta is within reach for any individual who is physically fit, mentally prepared and determined to adapt his or her skills to the varied environment.

Physical conditioning

In the best interest of personal safety, success and team compatibility, adequate training is required. Climbers must be able to carry an average of 45 pounds or more and be not only physically but also mentally prepared to deal with strenuous situations.

Tents Equipment and Meals

Provided: All group climbing equipment: climbing ropes and technical hardware, meals and tents.
Not provided: Personal equipment. You are responsible for all items on the gear list. Transportation is not provided for this climb. Climbers will need to provide their own transportation to the trailhead.

Mt Shasta Climb Itinerary

Below is an itinerary for the 3-day John Muir/Avalanche Gulch Route mountaineering climb. Please keep in mind that the projected itinerary and route starting at the Bunny Flat trailhead may vary due to weather and climbing conditions.

Day 1: Meet guides and group at the Fifth Season outdoor store located at 300 N. Mt. Shasta Blvd. Please be punctual to allow time for gear rentals, packing, and a group briefing with your guides. Please note: your guides will do a thorough gear check and pass out group gear before you pack your backpacks. In addition, we recommend that you reserve your rental equipment through the Fifth Season.

Drive to the Bunny Flat trailhead (6950 feet) for a group briefing and start the approach to base camp at Horse Camp (8000 feet). Depending on weather and trail conditions, the moderate/ low angle approach to base camp may take anywhere from 1.5 to 2 hours.

Snow School: Topics covered include fundamental climbing techniques, ice axe and crampon use, team rope travel, and team arrest.

Day 2: We will hike to approximately 10,000 feet and set up our high camp near Lake Helen. Weather permitting, we will continue with an additional skills session.

Day 3: Summit Climb and return

Mt Shasta Climb Gear List

Below is a comprehensive clothing and equipment list for our 2-4 day summit climbs. For your safety and comfort, please follow these guidelines diligently. Every item on the list is required. Weather extremes may range from 0 degrees F to 70 degrees F. Versatility is the key to dressing properly, and layering allows you to do this efficiently. To avoid overburdening yourself with extra weight, bring only that which is necessary. Locally rentable items are marked with an *. Contact The Fifth Season at 530-926-3606.

If you have questions about what to bring, leave behind, or equipment in general, please call or e-mail us. In addition, The Fifth Season outdoor store in Mt. Shasta is staffed with experienced outdoor enthusiasts who are well versed in the latest equipment available, and can provide sound advice on purchase and rental information.

  • Mountaineering boots*: Plastic or Leather. Must be crampon compatible. Hiking or backpacking boots are not adequate.
  • Crampons* Suggest: Black Diamond Contact
  • Ice axe* Suggest: Black Diamond Raven Pro
  • Climbing Helmet*
  • Expedition backpack*: 5,000 cubic inch, internal frameSleeping bag*: Synthetic or down, rated to 20 degrees F minimum
  • Sleeping pad*: Thermarest or closed cell foam pad
  • 1 locking carabiner: Suggest: Black Diamond Miniparabiner
  • 2 pair Hiking Socks: Wool or Synthetic lightweight
  • Underwear: Briefs & Bras must be synthetic material
  • Base Layer Bottom: Patagonia Capilene, wool or other synthetic
  • Base Layer top: Capilene, wool or other synthetic
  • Light or medium weight sweater: Fleece or wool
  • Water-resistant shell pants: Hard or soft shell, leg zips helpful
  • Water resistant shell parka: gore-tex or similar type, non insulated
  • Insulated Jacket: Required: Down or synthetic fill
  • Gaiters*: Mid-calf
  • Fleece or Wool hat: warm & covers ears
  • Brimmed Sun Hat: Cap or other
  • Shorts: Late spring and summer
  • Lightweight Liner Gloves. Soft shell or fleece
  • Insulated Gloves: Waterproof ski or mountaineering style
  • Water bottles: 2-3 Nalgene (other types tend to freeze and break)
  • Eating utensils: Cup, bowl, spoon only
  • Headlamp with fresh batteries
  • Sunglasses: glacier type with side protection ~ important
  • Sunscreen and lip protection: 25 SPF minimum
  • Personal kit: Small quantity of toilet paper and towelettes, toothbrush, blister kit, matches/lighter, pocket knife, etc
  • Light accessory cord: 10-20 feet (for broken shoelaces, etc.)
  • 1 large garbage sack
  • Snacks: Food for climb days. Variety of small portions of fats, sweets, carbs, and proteins
  • Trekking/ski poles*: Highly recommended for approach hike

Optional Items

  • Camera: Optional, but well worth bringing
  • Camp shoes or booties: Teva type sandals or light sneakers, booties for winter and spring use
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