Mt. Shasta Summer Climbing Report and Photo Essay


Sunrise over Casaval Ridge Mt. Shasta

Sunrise over Casaval Ridge Mt. Shasta

It’s mid summer and with the ideal weather and route conditions, we’ve been in full tilt operations here at SMG. It’s been an amazing couple weeks with the annual fundraising climbs that we lead for the Breast Cancer Fund-Climb Against the Odds, Fred Hutchinson Climb to fight Breast Cancer, and Summit For Someone. We have the greatest respect for the climbers on these expeditions and congratulate you all on your efforts, both on the mountain and off!

For the last several years, Sequoia Photography has photographed the climb for the BCF. We’re sharing her beautiful photos here to hopefully motivate and inspire. This event is an incredible culmination of hard work and dedication by many people. Thanks for all you do!

Cathy Ann Taylor and Sean Malee, part of the SMG family!

Cathy Ann and Sean

Cathy Ann and Sean

The conditions are holding up great on the West Face route, we’ll probably climb here through July before switching to the north and east side routes for the remainder of the 2012 season.

Climbing the West Face Mt. Shasta

Climbing the West Face Mt. Shasta

Climb On!

Climb On!


Snow, ice, crampons! Come cool the summer heat on Mt. Shasta!


Climbing the West Face route Mt. Shasta

Climbing the West Face route Mt. Shasta




Eric Layton keeps a close eye on his team

Climbing a classic peak in great style.

West Face summer climbing Mt. Shasta

West Face summer climbing Mt. Shasta

Pat fired up!



Post summit shaka! Linda, Teasha, and Amy celebrate!

Basecamp stoke!

Basecamp stoke!


climbing is FUN!

climbing is FUN!

Drew enjoying the fruits of his labor. Special thanks to the Fifth Season for offering this delicious mountain breakfast! Bacon and fresh strawberries, c’mon!

















We’re ecstatic over the wonderful summer 2012 season here on the mountain. This is because of the amazing climbers we get to meet and share this adventure with. Along with our staff of “the best guides on the planet”, we can’t be more grateful for a safe and successful season so far.

We still have lots of time left for a Mt. Shasta summit climb or seminar. The North side glacier routes will be in great shape through September and we’ll be watching how conditions hold up on the south and west side.  As always, call or email for more details.

Thanks to all our climbers and organizations who climb with us here at SMG, you are all heroes!


BCF West Face/Hidden Valley Photo Essay

The amazing and talented Sequoia Pettengell and Cathy Ann Taylor have been team photographers for the annual Climb Against the Odds.  I would like to share a few of their beautiful selections from this year’s climb.  You can see the whole slideshow at the BCF Flickr site

West Face climbing route

West Face route from basecamp in Hidden Valley


Summer time and Hidden Valley Basecamp is still buried in snow! The climbing route beckons the team in excellent conditions.




Hidden Valley alpenglow

Rich Meyer, Eric Layton, and Pat Bush


SMG guides are some of the best in the industry.   We are fortunate to have such capable individuals who make your trip a most memorable experience.






West Face by headlamp


All of our summit climbs begin by headlamp for the Alpine Start!








Dane Brinkley leads his team on the West Face


Dane’s team nears 11,000′









The summit plateau is a broad bench at 14,000′ before gaining the final summit pinnacle

Climbers cross the summit plateau


The climb challenges are transformed to summit smiles.  Congrats to all the climbers!

all smiles

Katy is all smiles as she reaches the summit!


Prayer Flags of hope and inspiration fly from the summit of Mt. Shasta

Mt. Shasta summit
Mt. Shasta summit!

post climb gnosh session!


Many people came together to make this climb a success. Local volunteer porters and businesses rallied to add essential climb details.  The Fifth Season has been catering an amazing post climb breakfast at Horse Camp.  This is quickly becoming a highlight of the trip. Thank you all!



We at SMG once again thank all who participated in this year’s climb.  It was a memorable event that we are honored to be a part of.   Climbing and weather conditions couldn’t have been better and we are inspired by your stories and strength!

Climb Report 6.24

Phenomenal!  Best describes the current mountain conditions.  Just down from an amazing climb with this year’s BCF Climb Against the Odds.  34 climbers made the journey and 22 reached the summit on a postcard perfect day.  The crew at SMG sends out a huge Thank You and congratulations to this year’s team for your dedication and hard work, it was an honor to climb with you all.

Mt. Shasta summit plateau

The final stretch to the summit

We found a variety of conditions from difficult post-holing on the lower mountain, to smooth and firm cramponing, to a mini lenticular forming that had us concerned until it dissipated and left a perfect summer weather window.

We had teams reach the summit on both Avalanche Gulch and the West Face this week and the climbing couldn’t be better.  Here’s Senior Guide Dane Brinkley leading his rope team as they top out on the West Face at 13,000′

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For many climbers, Misery Hill is the final challenge before the 14,179′ summit.  Here’s a great clip of the effort during pretty optimal conditions.   I don’t understand how it gets it’s name!

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The climbing season is in full swing, see you on the mountain!



Climb Against the Odds 2011

We welcome with open arms and hearts to this year’s Climb Against the Odds Team!  34 inspiring men and women are here to put their training to the test.

BCF Climb Team

The 2011 Welcome Dinner

An early start from the Bunny Flat Trailhead today 6/21 under a radiating Mt. Shasta.  The weather is mild and the wind has abated.  Tomorrow is going to be a great day to climb!

Shasta Mountain Guides is not only leading this climb as we we have for the last 8 years; we are also fundraising because we believe wholeheartedly in their efforts and mission.  We invite you to join us. Click here to go to our fundraising page

Shasta Mountain Guides Hosting Climb Against The Odds (Again)

On June 20-24, 2011, climbers from all over the United States will climb Mt. Shasta, both to raise funds and make a statement of support for the Breast Cancer Fund, and Shasta Mountain Guides is happy to (once again) host that climb.

Hundreds of breast cancer survivors and individuals touched by the disease have participated in ten major mountaineering expeditions through the Breast Cancer Fund’s Climb Against the Odds. The event is both a personal challenge to honor the courage it takes to face breast cancer and a collective effort to support prevention. Click here to visit the Breast Cancer Fund website.