2020 Climb At Mount Shasta

Three-Day Northeast Side Hotlum-Bolam Ridge Climb Itinerary 
By Shasta Mountain Guides

Below is a detailed itinerary for the 3-day Northeast side summit climb. Please keep in mind that the projected itinerary starting at the Northgate trailhead may vary due to weather and trail conditions. The road to the trailhead is unpaved and rough. All wheel drive or rental vehicle is recommended. 

Day 1: Meet and Hike to Base Camp 

  • 8:00 am Meet guides and group at the SMG Shop: 230 N. Mt. Shasta Blvd. Please be punctual to allow time for gear rentals, packing, and a group briefing. Your guides will do a thorough gear check and pass out group items before packing your backpacks. Rental equipment is available from the Fifth Season 530-926-3606

  • 10:00am-11:30am Drive to the North Gate trailhead (7,000’) for a group briefing and start the approach to base camp (9,500’) The road to the trailhead is rough, high clearance and/or four wheel drive is recommended. We do not provide transportation. 

  • 11:30am-3:30pm Depending on weather and trail conditions the approach to basecamp will take from 4-6 hours. 

  • Distance: 3.5 miles with 2,500’ vertical gain. The terrain starts on a good trail in alpine forests and travels to the base of the glacier with loose rock, scree, and snow possible. 

  • 3:30pm-6:00pm Once at basecamp the group will set up camp and prepare for snow school. The purpose of snow school is to prepare you and the climbing team for a safe, efficient, and enjoyable climb. Topics covered include crampon technique and ice axe use, team rope travel and team arrest. 

  • 6:00pm-7:30pm After snow school you will return to camp for an early dinner and evening briefing. Your guides will discuss climb day logistics and what to pack. Generally, climbers will be resting in tents by 7:30-8:00pm. 


Day 2: Mt. Shasta Summit climb 

  • Alpine Start Wake-up call will occur between 2:00am-3:00am. The ascent usually takes 6-9 hours. We will climb the lower snowfields under starlight and rope up once we reach the lower glacier at about 10,500’. 

  • Distance: 3.5 miles, 4,500’ vertical gain. The terrain will start on low angle snow fields and progress to 45 degree steep snow and ice on the glacier. We will be roped for the ascent and descent for safety and group pacing. 

  • Turn around time For safety purposes, our turnaround time on the mountain may be as early as 11:00 am-12:00 pm. We use these time frames to avoid hazards such as rock fall and afternoon storms. Depending on route conditions, the descent back to camp may take 3-4 hours. 

  • Back at camp The team will have the rest of the afternoon to rest, hydrate, and relax. Hot drinks will be provided and an early dinner will be prepared by the guides. 


Day 3: Pack Basecamp and return to trailhead and town 

  • 8:00am-2:00pm We will sleep in and enjoy a leisurely breakfast, pack camp and descend back to the trailhead. The descent takes 3-4 hours. We usually return to town between 12:00 and 2:00pm. 


Note on the climb schedule: On occasion if weather prevents us from making a summit attempt on day two, we may opt to change the summit climb until day three. If this occurs, we will be back to town between 5:00-7:00pm on day three.