The Mt. Shasta area has several area classics that will entertain rock climbers from beginner to advanced. Easliy accessible local crags for the first timer and big alpine routes in Castle Crags will provide endless opportunities to challenge and inspire.
We offer several levels of climbs and classes for the beginner through advanced climber. The Mt. Shasta area has a host of venues from short top ropes to alpine big walls and everything in between. All technical climbing gear is provided except for Helmets and Shoes which are available for rent at the Fifth Season.
BASIC – For climbers with little or no climbing experience. All ages. Cantara Crag is a level 5 minute walk from the parking area. Castle Crags climbs require a strenuous 2-3 hour uphill hike to access the rock and climbers should be in good physical condition.
Fun Climbing Day: Cantara Crag This small but scenic and action-packed riverside cliff has routes for everyone, with the opportunity to cool off in the adjacent swimming holes. Climbers are secured by a rope from above and have the choice between easy and more difficult climbs. Family, friends, corporate outings, and canine companions are welcome to join as spectators.
Intro to Rock Climbing: Cantara Crag – 1 day Similar to the above but with a more instructional focus. Includes basics of gear selection, climbing technique, belaying, and rappelling. Custom topics can be arranged. Lunch is included.
Intro to Sport Climbing: Lovers Leap (5.5-5.10+) – 2-3 days This scenic limestone crag hosts dozens of single pitch classic climbs. We start easy and progress in steeper, harder, and higher routes. At night we hike back to camp near our vehicles and enjoy a gourmet guide-prepared fireside meal and beverages. Suitable for intermediate/advanced climbers as well – climbs selected based on experience and ability.
Classic Climb: Castle Dome South Ridge, Castle Crags (5.0) This easy but impressive route climbs the ridge and slabs to the summit of Castle Dome. We hike the Castle Dome trail to a dramatic saddle where we rope up for our final summit climb.
INTERMEDIATE For climbers with previous climbing experience. Ages 16 and up. Intro to to Trad & Multi-pitch Climbing requires previous climbing experience or Intro to Rock Climbing. Crags Camp and Intermediate Classics require Intro to to Trad & Multi-pitch Climbing or previous multi-pitch climbing experience. Castle Crags climbs require a strenuous 2-3 hour uphill hike to access the rock and climbers should be in good physical condition.
Intro to Trad & Multi-pitch Climbing: Cantara Crag This class covers the basics necessary to follow lead climbers up longer traditional or alpine climbs. We cover efficient climbing practices, cleaning, anchor management, rope management, belay changeovers, and rappelling technique and safety.
Crag Camp: Castle Crags (5.6-5.8) 3 days. Day 1: We hike to a scenic base camp in the Castle Crags. Time-permitting, we climb one of the small towers or cliffs along the trail or near camp. Day 2: We climb either the local favorites Easy Street or Six-Toe Crack on six-toe rock. Day 3: we climb the ultra-classic Cosmic Wall, then pack up camp and return to Mount Shasta for a celebratory dinner
Classic Climb: Cosmic Wall, Castle Crags (III, 5.6) This incredible 5-pitch climb, pioneered by SMG Founder Michael Zanger with Himalayan Legend Chris Bonington, climbs the imposing 800′ east face of Mt. Hubris aka “The Ogre”. With everything from slabs, face, cracks, and a dramatic and exposed alpine ridge finish, this climb is sure to satisfy everyone from new to experienced climbers.
Classic Climb: Six-Toe Crack, Castle Crags (II, 5.8+) A local favorite and a challenging test-piece for new crack climbers, this 3-pitch route climbs cracks from finger to offwidth size to reach the top of Six-toe Spire. Alternately Easy Street (5.6) can be climbed for an easier but equally rewarding outing.
Classic Climb: The Dike Hike, Castle Crags (III, 5.8) This long and adventurous day tour first involves a canyoneering-style ascent up beautiful Root Creek to reach the base of our climb. We then climb three pitches up fun ledges and quartz crystals, passing a small roof (5.8) and reaching a remote and scenic overlook. We scramble down slabs and ledges, then bushwack through Manzanita to reach the Castle Dome Trail, which we descend to the car, often by headlamp.
ADVANCED For climbers with traditional climbing, multi-pitch, and crack climbing experience. Ages 18 and up.
Intro to Trad Leading: Cantara Crag Best suited for the experienced sport leader looking to transition into trad, this course introduces the techniques and gear needed to lead climbs using traditional methods. Includes gear selection, active and passive protection placement, building trad anchors, and leading technique. Participants have the opportunity to lead “mock” climbs while belayed on top-rope, followed by critique and review of protection and anchor systems.
Intro to Rock Rescue: Cantara Crag This course introduces techniques needed to respond to emergency situations while climbing. The focus is on improvising systems using readily available equipment vs. using specialized rescue equipment. Includes topics such as escaping the belay, hauling systems, lowering an injured climber, passing knots, ascending a rope, and freeing stuck rappel ropes, and improvised aid or “French-free” technique,.
Classic Climb: West Ridge Castle Dome (III, 5.8) This exciting and exposed six pitch climb with three 5.8 pitches has an alpine feel. Climbing the West Ridge a.k.a the “Potato Chip Flake”, we summit the local landmark Castle Dome to enjoy an expansive view of Mt Shasta, Upper Castle Crags, and the Sacramento Valley. We then descend the South Ridge to complete the loop.
Other Advanced Classics: Supercrack (II, 5.9); Peach Brandy Wall (II, 5.8), Plumb Line (IV, 5.10a), and others. Contact for details.