Mt. Shasta Casaval Ridge / Castle Crags Expedition

  • 04/22/2020
  • 8:00 AM
  • 04/25/2020
  • 8:00 PM
  • Bunny Flat trailhead, Mt. Shasta
  • 2



Join MAA APEX members on Mt. Shasta for an ascent of the intriguing Casaval Ridge. The classic late-winter climb on Shasta provides the full mountain experience of steep snow, some exposure, a variety of terrain and a 7,000' ascent over two or three days. If the mountain is not cooperative we'll climb multi-pitch rock at nearby Castle Crags. For APEX members only, please upgrade as a renewal here. Team members should have solid alpine snow climbing, self arrest and winter camping skills. Loaner gear may be available. We have room for 10. Hope to have you out with us!


  • What's happening: Ascent of Mt. Shasta 14, 162 via Casaval Ridge, steep snow (50 degrees) some exposure, 7,000' ascent, winter camping. If the route is not possible we will retreat to Castle Crags State Park and climb multi-pitch rock or scrambling / hiking. In our experience this route has less than a 50% chance of success on a single try, mostly due to wind, and sometimes visibility. This is why we need 4 days - we may be waiting out storms for a second or third chance to tag the summit.
  • Where to meet: 8:00 am Bunny Flat trailhead
  • Event Leader: Darren Shutt,, 916-872-3399
  • Minimum / Maximum: 4,10
  • Fitness and Climbing Skills Requirements: Proficiency and experience in winter mountaineering and expedition climbing (MTN 2, MTN 3), snow climbing and self arrest (SNOW 1, SNOW 2), and robust fitness to handle 7,000' ascent in winter-like conditions to the summit and back, over the course of 2 days. Summit push may be 12 - 16 hours long.
  • Shared Group Cost: $98. This covers a portion of volunteer EL mileage for gear transport and a portion of mandatory group gear usage deposit. 
  • Payment Due: March 24th. If payment is not received by the deadline then a registrant will be moved back to the waitlist.
  • Refunds: Full refunds can be issued 90 days from the trip date. Between 30 and 90 days, only 50% refunds are possible. Closer than 30 days no refund is possible.
  • Fees / Regulations: There is a USFS Wilderness permit and summit fee to climb Shasta, $25 per instance or $30 for the year. Please do this individually prior to the climb. This can be handled at the Fifth Season, at the ranger station in town, or at the trailhead. Please see info here. You will also need to pack out all solid waste. Blue bags are provided same locations.
  • What to bring: Warm, stormproof layers for upper and lower body - 4 layers for upper and 3 layers for lower, minimum. 2-3 pair socks and gloves, warm mittens, warm headwear, sunglasses, goggles, gaiters. Belay device, prusik, 2 locking and 2 non-locking carabiners, 2 runners, harness, helmet, warm mountain boots, sharp steel crampons fit to your boots, mountain axe, food for 3 nights / 4 days, waterbottles with insulating sleeve, spoon, cup, warm sleeping bag, 2 sleeping pads, trekking pole(s), snow shovel. Rock shoes just in case the weather is really bad and we go to Castle Crags! Technical equipment such as rope, rock and snow protection, and stove, pots, fuel and tents may be supplied by MAA. Bring what you have of these items and we'll select the group gear. Leave about 10 liters of space and up to 10 lbs for group gear. 
  • Bobcat's Adventure SportsMAA Apex and Base members enjoy a significant retail discount on mountaineering, ice climbing, rock climbing, skiing, splitboarding, and backcountry clothing, equipment and gear, as well as consignment and rentals.   

  • Medical: If you have any medical conditions pertinent to your participation on this event, please inform the event leaders after registration.

  • Additional Info: Shasta summit pass is required. Itinerary is completely weather dependent. Weather and conditions may alter or cancel the event completely.


  • PRIOR: Expedition Conference Call, probably March 2020, TBD
  • PRIOR: Expedition logistics to be coordinated, will go live in 2020.
  • DAY 1, Wednesday April 22nd: Meet and greet at Bunny Flat 8:00 am. Logistics. If the weather looks good we'll ascend to basecamp on the ridge, dig in. Scout for tomorrow. If the weather does not look good we'll decide to wait at the trailhead, or go to Castle Crags.
  • DAY 2, Thursday April 23rd: Pre-dawn start to attempt summit, descend back to basecamp. If the weather is not favorable, we still have two more days.
  • DAY 3, Friday April 24th: Weather / contingency day
  • DAY 4, Saturday April 25th: Weather / contingency day. No matter where we are we'll be back to the cars before dark. Dinner in town!


  • In order to register you must be a Apex member.
  • Event leaders are experienced volunteers, but may not be certified guides.
  • This event is free of charge. MAA receives no direct financial gain for organizing and supporting this event.
  • Participant safety is our top priority. The itinerary described is the plan; however, circumstances beyond the leader's control may necessitate changes.
  • The event begins and ends at the trailhead. MAA does not insure ridesharing or other travel arrangements and bears no responsibility for them. Carpooling, ride sharing, or anything similar is strictly a private arrangement among individuals.
  • MAA event leaders carry communication devices and a medical kit; The primary event leader has current wilderness first aid and CPR training as well as MAA policy training.

(916) 692-0005

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