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Whitney Glacier Grade III - Mt Shasta

  • Aug 3, 2013 · 8:00 AM

Mountaineering is about expectation, preparation, prediction, anticipation and flexibility; otherwise, it’s counting on luck (...good luck with that).

Whitney Glacier is the longest glacier in California. It features many crevasses (including hidden) and ice falls along its length and ends up with a steeper slope leading to the plateau. We would approach the route from North Gate TH setting up our base camp around 10,000 feet and then traverse west through Bolam Glacier to the bottom of Whitney Glacier. We would descent Bolam Glacier or Hotlum/Bolam Ridge back to our camp.

What to expect:
Crossing crevasses and climbing icy slopes up to around 40 deg.
Potential series of rock falls from Shastaina and Whitney/Bolam ridge.

Mt Shasta weather forecast (Elev. 12366 ft)


Day 1 - Saturday – hike in to the base camp and review various techniques
Day 2 - Sunday - summit attempt. This may be a long day.
Day 3 - Monday – hike out

Required experience:
- Proficient in self-arrest including with rope
- Crevasse rescue (Z-Pulley)
- Self crevasse rescue (Texas Prusiks)
- Climbing with two ice axes or tools

Recommended experience:
- Glacier traverse
- Ice climbing
- Multiday winter trips (preferably in various weather conditions)
- Climbing/hiking up to about 14,000 ft
- Rock climbing

Extra consideration:
- Persons who have previously attended Mt Shasta Base Camp Part 2 with the trip host would have priority in being selected

Required gear:
- Any participant must have: helmet, crampons, 2 ice axes and/or technical tools, harness, at least one picket and ice screw, Texas Prusiks, prusiks, carabiners (including 2 locking), webbing/slings etc. Crampons and axes (classic & tools) must be adequately sharp to hold in ice. Crampons must have front points.
- Also one rope per group of (ca) 3 climbers.


Each prospective participant, including the guest, must fill in and email (as an attachment or copy/paste) the provided form to the Event Host as well as answer questions while signing in.

To download the form go to: More/Files Whitney-Glacier_gear_list.txt
Or click the link:

A person who would not satisfy the above requirements may be ignored in the selection as a team member.

The trip organizer(s)/event host(s) has discretion to select the team members regardless of the order of signing in or being on the wait list.

Safety is the most important matter and every participant must obey all safety rules during this trip or leave the team. You must be a team player and have no selfish objectives or behavior. We are going and acting as a team; no one may be left behind.

By attending the trip you agree to be video and voice recorded which may be used in a trip video and consent to publish these recorded images and sound on Internet.

Samples of previous trip videos:

By signing in you consent that you understand that mountaineering is a very dangerous activity, are attending the trip completely voluntary and on your own risk and understand the risk of any unfavorable event(s) that may be trigged by the nature, you or another person or persons or other factors, which may cause mental and/or physical injuries or even death, and waive any claims against any person participating in the trip, including organizer(s) and/or event host(s), for such outcomes and/or damages.

By participating in any event organized by the organizers, co-organizers, assistant organizers, or event organizers of Bay Area Mountaineering Meetup (collectively “BAMM”), you understand and agree that BAMM only provides a service to organize the meeting place and time of various outdoor activities in which its members voluntarily participate (“Meetup Events”), but provides no other service or expertise regarding the Meetup Events. Many of the Meetup Events include mountaineering, rock climbing, ice climbing, and related activities, which are inherently dangerous sports involving a high risk of personal injury, property damage, and death (“Risks”). BAMM are not professional guides, do not possess any special training in those inherently dangerous sports, and make no profit from your participation in any Meetup Event. BAMM does not owe and does not accept any duty, and is not responsible in any way, for your health or safety when you participate in any Meetup Event. BY PARTICIPATING IN ANY MEETUP EVENT, YOU EXPRESSLY ASSUME ALL RISKS

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  • Marco

    August 11, 2013

  • Brady M.

    I agree this was a great time and thank you everyone for the hard work and skills to allow us to get to the amazing places we were. Won't ever forget this one and I bet we know more now about the Whitney Glacier in late summer than almost anyone else.

    August 6, 2013

  • Jean-Francois D.

    Had a blast and got to learn few more tricks of the trade. Would love to try it again.

    August 6, 2013

  • barry o.

    Great Idea for a route, Like to come back some day and try it again, cheers

    August 6, 2013

  • Marco

    Even though we run out of time and had to make a decision to retreat before getting in unknown trouble (it still took us 6 hours to get back to the camp), the trip was worth the effort and (hopefully) everyone learned something new and in the future be more serious about my trip requirements.

    I would like to thank Jean-Francois Dupuis for reviewing crucial mountaineering techniques with other team members (it looks like this refresh has become a standard on every trip) and Barry Ohm for implementing his skills in the icy terrain.

    It was great climbing with everyone, a great team as usually.

    August 6, 2013

  • Hameed

    Couple of items of interest; I will be on Shasta tomorrow thru Sunday on my way to Rainier,1- talked to the rangers and they said climbing is not advisable due to extreme smoky conditions because of Oregon fires, so much you can not even see the mountain and due to northerly winds it may gets worse, call ahead. 2- for the south bay drivers Mission Blvd will be closed tomorrow thru Sunday seek alternative route. Have a Safe trip and if you come up hope to see you then. I will up date if I have reception.

    August 1, 2013

    • Marco


      August 1, 2013

    • Marco

      After researching the air conditions and getting feedback from locals we decided to go. Not only was the weather perfect but the air clear and fresh. It was hazy in the distance (North) but not much worse than all the way from BA. Many, many people climbed H/B Ridge and, perhaps, two Bolum Glacier.

      Thanks again for warning.

      August 6, 2013

  • LARRY C.

    maybe next time!

    July 31, 2013

  • Brady M.

    Hey guys anyone want to carpool? I will leave around 2-3pm from San Jose and can pick people up. Right now I'm thinking that I will probably be coming back Sunday instead of staying the night Sunday, but that may change.

    July 29, 2013

    • Brady M.

      Hey walter we are leaving from South Bay around 3pm and coming back Sunday unless it gets too late. I could either meet you somewhere on the way or pick you up. Text me do we can work it out

      July 29, 2013

    • Walter

      Thanks Brady, but I hurt my back, I skip this trip.

      July 30, 2013

  • Marco

    I emailed you guys the Gear List form on Monday and have not received response from some of you yet. If I don’t get your response no later than on Wednesday, I’ll assume you canceled your participation and drop you from the team.

    July 30, 2013

  • Zach H.

    wish I could but I'll be gone that weekend!

    July 29, 2013

  • Marco

    I’ll be leaving soon for the Sierras for a few days and may not be able to communicate over that period.

    After I come back I’ll send you a form to fill in and we will start working on trip details arrangement.

    NOTICE: It does not matter if you sign in as long as you don’t follow the rules you will be ignored regardless if you climbed with me before. This type of trips I take it very seriously.

    July 26, 2013

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