Summer is in full swing in Northern California. We are seeing hot days, mild nights, and a melting snowpack on California’s largest Cascade Peak. Mt. Shasta has experienced an excellent climbing season on the main south side routes but this is finally starting to change as we enter into late season.
We are grateful to our staff and guests for such a remarkable year. We have enjoyed excellent climbing conditions due to the deep snow pack and our guides have been going non stop providing safe and successful ascents.
With the heat of summer taking it’s toll on the mountain snow, we are transitioning to the more favorable north side glacier climbs for the remainder of the climbing season. As the summer progresses, the quality of the climbing diminishes and hazard increases and we start to change our focus and chose routes with more optimal climbing conditions.
The north side Hotlum-Bolam route is one of our favorites and still holds very enjoyable conditions for a climb. With a stunning base camp equipped with fresh water streaming close by, a direct climb with some glacier features to navigate, and a remote Wilderness setting that escapes the more impacted south side, it’s a classic route to enjoy as an introduction to glacier climbing.
Although still possible, we are no longer offering climbs on the Avalanche Gulch route for 2017. Rock strewn slopes, steep, difficult climbing, and the ever present hazard of rock fall from climbers above have made the decision to end guided climbs this year on the south side.
We climb the north side in 3 or 4 day schedules. The 4 day Glacier I Seminar is one of our most popular trips. This combines a summit climb with an extra day for skills training and acclimation. This is a perfect introduction to the more technical climbing found on the north side as well as offering added time to enjoy the spectacular location and activity.
August will have good climbing on the Hotlum Glacier and we will complete our climbing season by early September. Beyond that most routes will be in poor condition and it’s generally recommended to wait for more favorable snow and conditions.
The skiing is over for all but the most dedicated. Deep sun-cups and penitentes have formed and are far from fun to ski. We enjoyed our last ski trip in late June with Tom H. and family who returned to Shasta for a birthday run on the classic Hotlum-Wintun route. Unless you’re headed to South America, it’s time to hang up the skis and put an end to the epic year of 2017.
We are updating our website with dates and climbs for 2018. This year was remarkably busy on Mt. Shasta. We recommend planning early for best choice of availability. Until then, we have climbs on the north side until September 7th.
Thanks again to all our guests and guides, we can’t express enough how grateful we are for such a memorable season thus far. Cheers to everyone who helped make it a success!