Shasta Trip 2006

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In the process of copying from old Shasta webpage

Northgate Trailhead, July 2 2006. Click photo to see names and caption.

Mt. Shasta summer 2006 expedition info page

The trip is now over; 14 people came, and everyone who attempted the summit made it. Led by Stephen with assistance by many, especially Sean and Jeandrew.

Photos from the trip

  • Bill's photos
  • Stephen had some photos, but they are offline. Email him if you want them.
  • Omp, Fred and Eric had photos at, but that site no longer exists. The photos are backed up on private computers, so email us if you want them.


roster You need a password to access this part of the site (different username and password than the general alpine club username and password).

Ropework practice

We'll probably go to Eaton Canyon and practice prussiking up ropes and setting up pulley systems. Here is an excerpt from "Freedom of the Hills" on prussik systems in PDF format. You need the club's general username/password or a Caltech IP to access it.

Possible Routes

Note: at the meeting, we decided on the Whitney Glacier route. More details on the route are on the scanned PDFs linked to below.

I'd like this trip to be a face-paced introduction to glacier travel. While glacier experience is not required, we will be moving fast, carrying heavy loads and waking up very early for alpine starts. Traveling in a large group will also increase our safety margin. With these considerations, I think we can tackle some of the more difficult routes on Mt. Shasta. The following are routes that I think are appropriate and would be sufficiently challenging:

  • Whitney Glacier: this would be the perfect route. This is the longest glacier in California at 2 miles long, and the lower section will have plenty of obstacles. From Selters: "A base camp on the lower glacier is an experience for the senses: With the towering flanks of Shastina rising over 4,000 feet to the west and the long, broad Whitney-Bolam ridge bordering the cavernous canyon on the east, the tableau looks like the Alaska Range or the Himalaya. ... Add to this the constant creaking and grinding of the glacial ice, the irregular sounds of water, and the cannonades and crescendoes of rockfalls and breaking seracs, all contributing to a dramatic alpine setting."
  • West or East Bolam Glacier. The Bolam Glacier is on the very North of Shasta. Both routes would be fine. If we ascended via the Whitney Glacier, then we could consider descending the West Bolam Glacier. There is also the Bolam Gully variation, which is steeper.
  • Hotlum Glacier. I've climbed this route, and it's nice but not too long. There are three icefalls which you skirt around, and crevasses and bergshrund. There are technical variations: the headwall, with a few pitches up to 5.8 on bad rock, a steep ice gully which probably will be only snow in June/July, and easier routes on ridges to the L. and R.
  • The Casaval Ridge. Selters says, "Worldy mountaineers compare this to famous classics of the Alps." This would be more technical (though you can avoid some of the technical sections), but no glacier travel. It might be too dry in July to be fun/safe, so this is my least-preferred route among the others mentioned here.


  • May 29th: here's an annotated packing list in PDF and MS Word formats. If you have comments about it, please feel free to email everyone.
  • May 30th: here's some additional info. Pulleys are not mandatory; if you think you'll have use for it in the future, then get one, otherwise you don't need to.

For glacier travel, you might want a chest harness (alternatively, you can clip into a sturdy loop on your pack's main shoulder straps). It's easiest to make a chest harness yourself, since pre-sewn slings are hard to get exactly right. I'd recommend 9 feet of either 1" or 9/16" tubular webbing, available cut to order from REI. And for crampons, you might want some kind of protective covers for them if you're not planning on strapping them to the outside of your pack (and even if you do, protective covers are nice). REI sells rubber covers for about $7, or you can just wrap your crampons in some sturdy fabric (e.g. denim), which is what I do. For ice axes, you probably want a leash. For a lightweight, non-load bearing leash (to prevent you from dropping it), use anything (e.g. nylon cord); for a weight-bearing leash, cut your own 9/16" nylon webbing, about 4 or 5 feet. You want the leash as long as possible while still allowing it to come taught when you grip at the very bottom of the shaft. Also, I forgot to mention that it's nice to have a watch.

For info on chest harnesses, here's an excerpt from "Freedom of the Hills" on chest harnesses in PDF format (you'll need the club's general username/password or a caltech IP). You may not need a chest harness (see paragraph above).

Here are just some of the less-common items you'll need:

  • Crampons, any kind (lighter is better)
  • Ice axe, 60 to 70 cm, as light as possible
  • Helmet (bike helmet will work if need be)
  • Thick gaiters -- it is easy to tear them with crampons
  • Harness, as light as possible (e.g. the B.D. Alpine Bod)
  • Prussiks, for the Texas prussik sytem
  • One rescue pulley, any kind
  • One or two biners
  • ... and camping/hiking gear of course


More to come, including crevasse rescue info. You must either have a Caltech IP or use the username and password (sent out in emails this spring) to access these documents. If you need the username/password, email me.

External Links Mt. Shasta page. They have links in the left column to individual routes. The information below is taken from their website.

Phone numbers and webpages:

  • The Fifth Season's (climbing & skiing report) 24 hour recorded message: (530) 926-5555
  • Mt. Shasta Ranger Station (Forest Service): (530) 926-4511
  • Mt. Shasta Ranger Station (Avalanche Report): (530) 926-9613
  • McCloud Ranger Station (Forest Service) for East side route and access road conditions: (530) 964-2184
  • SnowCam (live camera view of Shasta)
  • Forest Service Mt. Shasta Avalanche Center

Summit passes are required for anyone climbing above 10,000 feet. A summit pass costs $15 per person, and is good for three days starting on the date of purchase. Self issue kiosks are available at the Mt. Shasta Ranger Station on Alma St. in Mt. Shasta city, the McCloud Ranger Station on Hwy 89 in McCloud and at all trailheads. Annual summit passes are $30.00 and are good for one year from the date of purchase. Annual passes are available only during regular business hours at the Mt. Shasta and McCloud Ranger Stations.

A wilderness permit is required for any overnight stays in the Mt. Shasta Wilderness. Permits are not required for day hikes/climbs, but the Rangers encourage you fill one out so they have a record of who is on the mountain so they can locate you in case of an emergency or if you come up missing.

Camping is allowed everywhere. Lake Helen and the Sierra Club Horse Camp are the most popular (and crowded) areas. Human waste removal bags are required and are available for free at all trailheads and must be carried by all climbers while on the mountain. If the kitty litter and Zip-Lock bag the Forest Service hands out for free concerns you, be creative and come up with your own system that is a little more "secure."