Route Name: 
Climbing Route Conditions: 

Avalanche Gulch is in full winter conditions with ample snow coverage.  Avalanche and weather conditions can change daily. It is up to you to be prepared. Check the web cam on our homepage to view the south and west sides of the mountain, as we speak! A summit pass, wilderness permit and human waste packout bag(s) are required to climb Mt Shasta. Even if you don't plan on going to the summit, a summit pass is required above 10,000 feet. You can get them for self issue at the Bunny Flat trailhead and Mt Shasta Ranger Station. ($25 - 3 days)

We currently have upwards of 10-15 feet of snow on Mt Shasta. Climbing conditions are good, but novice climbers should take caution this time of year. A winter climb of Mt Shasta is a serious endevour. Extreme wind and cold temperatures, avalanche danger, rime ice and very firm and smooth snow surface condtions up the ante considerably. An avalanche beacon, shovel and probe (and a partner) with the knowledge of how to use said equipment is strongly advised. Further, an ice axe, crampons and helmet is also strongly advised. A slip and fall without immediate self arrest will result in a long slide for life. Do not take this lightly.

The route is entirely covered in snow. Check the avalanche advisory and weather before you go. Camping options are many. Water is not available, so bring extra fuel to melt snow. 

The standard high camp for the Avalanche Gulch route, Lake Helen, was completely obliterated by a large avalanche in mid December. Case and point: Winter presents serious hazards for climbing the mountain. It can be done safely, but do your homework and once again, be prepared with the knowledge and skills to navigate said hazards.

Glissading can be possible on select days. Overall however, glissading is not advised during winter as often the snow surface is smooth, firm and icy. It is very difficult to control your speed and one can reach out of control speeds very quickly. If you do choose to try and glissade, take off your crampons!!!

CAMPING AT LAKE HELEN: PLEASE keep a clean camp...PACK OUT ALL micro trash, food scraps, coffee grounds, leftover pasta, you name it...please pack it out...Rangers take this VERY SERIOUSLY and so should you!  Thousands of climbers camp here annually and it takes each of us to keep it clean. If you love what the mountains give you, then show them respect by packing out EVERYTHING and LEAVE NO TRACE.  Keep it looking pristine for those that will visit after you, and for the preservation of WILDERNESS!  Secure your tent and belongings well when you leave for the summit. Wind, ravens and the resident pine marten will spread your gear far and wide if it is left out. If your stuff is zipped up and stowed away well within your tent, you shouldn't have a problem. We have not had any issues with critters chewing through tents to get into stored food.  SANITATION: Please urinate on the far EAST side of Lake Helen, AWAY from all camps. Use your pack-out bag over in this area as well. DO NOT urinate in the general camping area!  Snow must be melted for water and we recommend treating it one of three ways: iodine, boil, or filter. Water is running at the spring at Horse Camp and the toilets are OPEN.  Pack-out bags are mandatory for removing all solid human waste on the mountain.  Pack-out bags are available at Bunny Flat. 

Current Photos: 
Avalanche Gulch 2.11.17
Avalanche Gulch 2.11.17
Avalanche Gulch 3.12.17
Avalanche Gulch 3.12.17
Avalanche Gulch 3.16.17
Avalanche Gulch 3.16.17
Position: 
Climbing Ranger