July brings classic summer weather to Mt. Shasta; days are warm and winds mild with relief from the heat found on the upper mountain and glaciers. We wrapped up the south side season and are no longer leading trips on Avalanche Gulch or the West Face. After the drought winter of 2014, we were pleasantly surprised to have really good climbing on the mountain.
Although we are done on the regular routes, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy a Mt. Shasta climb or seminar. For the summit enthusiast, the east side Clear Creek route offers a non-technical ascent with minimal objective hazard. Don’t underestimate the effort, non-technical doesn’t mean easy! This is the longest route to the summit and involves rock and scree travel.
For a greater technical challenge and excellent preparation for bigger peaks, the north side of Mt. Shasta is a perfect choice. With California’s largest glaciers, this is a great way to beat the heat while climbing a challenging and spectacular route.
The north side routes are more technical (steeper and icier) and will require great effort to reach the summit. This is recommended for climbers with previous experience or as part of our Glacier I Seminar. There are patches of ice showing on the glaciers and climbing will require good planning and travel technicques.
With the low snow pack and warm summer temps, the climbing season will be a little shortened on Mt. Shasta this year. We expect good conditions through August on the north side and Clear Creek can be climbed as long as the weather holds up, likely through Labor Day and beyond.
It has been as amazingly successful season so far, we can not thank our climbers enough for allowing us the opportunity to share this experience with you. We’re looking forward to the remaining climbs on Mt. Shasta, and especially excited of the early reports of a big winter on the way! It’s never to early to be dreaming of winter storms!