Mt. Shasta Casaval Ridge and Castle Crags. A 3-day event climbing this steep classic snow route. Alternately, the ascent can be bookended by alpine style trad climbing at the nearby Castle Crags. Intended for climbers with steep snow climbing and fourteener experience.
RSVPs are now open. Maximum 10 climbers.
You must be a member of Sierra Mountaineering Group to be eligible to attend
Please RSVP to the waitlist. Priority members will be confirmed until April 1st, Basic Members until April 3rd, and Free Members with the $20 RSVP fee after that. Joining SMG Events does not constitute membership. Join here. Please provide the required information when you RSVP. Because this event occurs on public lands it is open to the public. The event organizer reserves the right to select the most qualified individuals in the interest of safety.
Dates: Friday April 20 - Sunday April 22, 2012
Location: Mt. Shasta 14,162 and Mt. Hubris at Castle Crags, Northern California
Route: Casaval Ridge and Cosmic Wall 5.6, 6 pitch trad, among others
Appropriate For: Experienced rock and snow climbers
Training Videos, available for Priority and Basic Members: Snow and Ice Climbing Essentials, Anchors and Knots Core Class, Mountain Navigation and Routefinding Core Class, Mountain Campcraft Core Class, and Winter Climbing and Camping Core Class
Weather: NOAA Forecast for Mt. Shasta
Map: For Priority and Basic Members at the maps section at www.sierramountaineeringgroup.com
Fitness and Difficulty Level: Difficult
Max Elevation: 14,100 ft
Starting Elevation: 7,000 ft
Pre-Requisites: Participants must meet ALL the following
- Experience with winter climbing and camping above 10,000 feet
- Prior summit of a 14,000 feet mountain
- Experience climbing with an ice axe, crampons on exposed terrain
- Knowledge and/or experience with fixed lines and running belays
- For Castle Crags: multi-pitch rock climbing experience
Friday, April 20: Meetup early at the Walmart parking lot to arrange carpooling and drive north. If the weather window is still good we'll stop at the Ranger Station in Mount Shasta City at 8:30am to get our permits and meetup with climbers coming from other directions. If not, we will pursue our contingency plan wich is to go to Castle Crags to climb some awesome alpine rock.
Assuming a green light for Shasta, we'll proceed straight to Bunny Flat trailhead and spend the morning and afternoon snowshoeing or skinning up the ridge to a camp near 11,000 ft on Casaval Ridge. We will spend some time and energy digging in to protect ourselves from likelihood of high winds, review a game plan for tomorrow and enjoy an awesome view as the sun sets.
Saturday, April 21st: With a pre-dawn start, we'll leave our high camp intact and ascend the ridge, through the Catwalk and on to the upper slopes above the Whitney Glacier. The route involves some steep and exposed snow climbing. Each climber must be confident on this type of terrain. We'll have some technical gear and rope but likely will not use it. We will shoot to summit before noon. Our descent will be down the Avalanche Gulch route, with a traverse across the slopes above Helen Lake to regain our high camp.
If we are still in good shape, we can dismantle camp and head back down the hill to either camp at Castle Crags or drive all the way back to Sacramento. If not, we will enjoy another evening at our airy perch.
If our plan was pushed back a day, we may be establishing high camp this day for a summit attempt tomorrow.
Sunday, April 22nd: We will take down camp and descend the ridge to either drive back to Sacramento or enjoy some rock climbing at the nearby Castle Crags State Park, and then head home in the evening.
Contingency plans: Climbing at Castle Crags is primarily included in this trip as an option for us in case the weather or conditions on Shasta either push us back a day or do not allow us to climb the route at all. Secondly it is included because it is just a cool place to climb anyway.
PACKING LIST: All items are available on loan to Priority and Basic Members. SMG Training Videos and Info
The following detailed list developed by the group and available only for Priority Members, is especially helpful: SMG Clothing, Equipment and Gear List
- Wicking, breathable baselayers, top and bottom
- Insulating, weather-resistant mid-layer, top and bottom
- Wind and waterproof shell layer, top and bottom
- Insulating fill jacket
- Warm socks, liners
- Mountaineering boots
- Lightweight liner gloves
- Waterproof gloves and/or mittens
- Glacier sunglasses
- Warm hat - the touque!
- Sun hat
- 25-40 liter pack for summit day, and / or stripped down 45-60 liter hauling pack
- Trekking poles with snow baskets
- Minimum 15 degree sleeping bag
- Sleeping pad(s)
- Water bottles or containers. Water bladders not recommended in freezing weather.
- Headlamp w/extra batteries
- Mug / bowl
- Compass, GPS also recommended if available
- Camera, extra batteries
- Small knife
- Personal items, medications
- Emergency items - whistle, space blanket, etc. Keep it small.
- Lightweight mountaineering harness
- Hard shell mountaineering helmet
- Ice axe
- Crampons, fit to your boots
- 2 large locking, 2 non-locking carabiners
- 24” loop runner or cord
- Two 48” loop runners or 5-7mm prusik cords
- Skis or snowshoes
- Snow shovel (if you have one)
- Rock shoes (optional)
- Technical climbing gear: ropes, rock and snow protection, assorted slings and cordage, locking carabiners
- First Aid kit
- Snow shovel
- Some tents
- Some stoves, pots
For questions or more information, please contact: Darren Shutt, SMG Organizer, [masked] or [masked]