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Guided climbs, lessons offered on Mt. Shasta

Guided climbing and skiing trips are being offered on Mount Shasta. Courtesy photo

Have you ever wanted to climb Mount Shasta?

Opportunities to climb Shasta, the 14,179-foot peak that dominates the regional skyline, will be offered beginning May 1 by Alpenglow Expeditions.

Because of the unusually low snowpack, two-day guided trips up Avalanche Gulch on Shasta’s south side will likely be limited to only a few weeks, but three-day trips up Hidden Valley on Shasta’s west side, along with three-day west face ski trips will likely be offered into August, according to Logan Talbott, one of Alpenglow’s lead guides.

“Shasta is a wonderful mountain. It’s a jewel of Northern California,” said Talbott, who said he has climbed and/or skied Shasta about 50 times.

In addition, he said, a five-day mountaineering school outing on Shasta’s northeast side near the Hotlum Glacier are aimed at educating clients on “the intricacies of mountaineering and glacier travel and crevasse rescue.”

Talbott noted Alpenglow also offers mountain climbing and skiing trips internationally with certified guides, including Peru, Bolivia, Russa, Chili, Pakistan, Mexico, the Himalayas and more.

“We’re thrilled to be offering a climbing school here in Northern California,” he said, noting the training trips on Shasta might lead to people building skills to take more technical trips internationally. The classes provide training on crevasse rescue, methods of navigating ice, glacier travel, basic rope work and other aspects of climbing.

Talbott said Alpenglow was granted permits for the Shasta trips after a six-year effort. The permits allow the outings to begin May 1. Because of unusually low snow conditions, he said trips this season will likely be limited, especially on the most used Avalanche Gulch route, although better snow on the west and north slopes mean those will probably be possible until mid-summer.

“I’m a big fan of skiing on Shasta. Just the wide open, smooth slopes. It’s extremely ideal skiing,” Talbott said, noting it’s possible to backcountry ski up to 7,000 vertical feet. It’s amazing to have this terrain in our backyard. It’s a wonderful mountain and it’s a mountain that should be celebrated.”

On the Shasta trips, Talbott said there will be one certified guide per four people or two guides for up to eight climbers/skiers.

Talbott, a chief guide and Alpenglow co-owner, 37, has been guiding professionally for 18 years. A wilderness EMT, he has worked for rescue teams in Yosemite and Denali national parks and climbed and skied in South America and the Himalayas. “I love the technical peaks of Peru.”

Prices for the Shasta activities range from $995 per person for the two-day Avalanche Gulch Climb to $1,095 for the three-day west face climb and three-day west face ski trip to $1,395 per person for the five-day mountaineering school. The cost includes food on the mountain, group gear, ropes and technical equipment and wilderness permits. For information on the Shasta outings and others, visit the website at https://alpenglowexpeditions.com, email at info@alpenglowexpeditions.com or call 877-873-5376.

Reach freelance writer Lee Juillerat at 337lee337@charter.net or 541-880-4139.