Happy New Year! New Adventures await! A climb or ski on Mt. Shasta is a great way to experience the beauty and challenge of mountaineering and backcountry skiing. We invite you to join us one of the most beautiful peaks in North America and a jewel of the Cascades.
What’s New at Shasta Mountain Guides for 2018?
With the new year, now is the time to plan your trip. We are always excited to share our climbing passion with you. We have been busy with launching a new website; our site has a fresh mobile friendly design and we’ve created new features to best serve our guests. Our trip reservation system has also been updated which means easier, more convenient booking. We are excited for the new online experience for our visitors, our goal is to provide the highest customer service from start to finish. We hope you enjoy and find it useful.
The bigger and better news is that we have hired on Nick Caselli as our new Director of Operations. Nick has been with SMG for over 10 years as a Senior Guide and Guide Trainer. As part of our mission to improve the experience of our guests Nick’s role will undoubtedly add to the overall smoothness of trip operations and quality. Nick brings a wealth of experience to SMG. He will be involved in all areas of operation and we’re excited to have him on board in this new role. Read more about Nick
Smaller Guide to Client Ratio goes official!
In line with our company mission to create a high quality experience we are lowering guide:client ratios on all of our trips on Mt. Shasta. We started this several years ago and found the experience to be so beneficial that we will make it official in 2018. Regular summit climbs will depart with groups of 6 climbers and 2 guides. Our more technical routes and seminars will climb in groups of 6 with 3 guides. The result is a higher level of safety, higher summit success rate, better skills sessions, and overall a more enjoyable climbing experience.
The fun and exciting news and what everyone wants to know is what’s currently going on here on Mt. Shasta. There is just a couple feet of snow below treeline and 2-4′ of snow above 8,500′. Winter and alpine recreation is possible if somewhat limited. The season started strong in November and except for a few minor systems we have been in a dominant high pressure pattern for extended periods. This was the second driest December in Mt. Shasta on record. There are finally some storms that will start to break down the high pressure ridge later this week and we hope to get back to an active weather pattern. It won’t take much to get back on track and we expect decent climbing and skiing this season.
Despite the low tide and shallow snow conditions, there has been some backcountry skiing and climbing on Mt. Shasta. With mild weather and clear blue skies, it’s still easy to enjoy Mt. Shasta and to be grateful that we can recreate despite a dry winter. That said, there are many rocks and obstacles and we recommend waiting for more snow to improve conditions and margins of safety.
We’ll start to see some precipitation this week with snow levels around 5,000′. This will help the Mt. Shasta Ski Park as well as give us some fresh snow for the free companion rescue beacon clinic this Saturday morning at Bunny Flat. Keep an eye on the daily avalanche advisory, especially as new snow arrives. Slick surfaces, new snow and wind will surely increase hazard by rapidly changing the snow pack.
January 5th-6th Avalanche Awareness and rescue clinic 7:00pm Friday SMG Shop, 9:00am Saturday Bunny Flat. Presented by USFS Avalanche Center FREE.
January 20 5th Annual Mt Shasta Ascension Backcountry Ski Race. Mt. Shasta Ski Park
February 16-18 SMG AIARE Level I Avalanche Seminar. Mt. Shasta, CA. Register online here: SMG AIARE Level I
We’ll continue to scout the current conditions and will report back with updates and other news and information this winter. Stay tuned and we look forward to seeing you on Mt. Shasta!