Cascade Gulch is in good shape. This route is listed in many books as "easy", though it can host patches of ice and some exposure to glaciated terrain, crevasses, and bergshrunds where it crosses the upper Whitney Glacier. This hazardous stretch is a minimum of 1/4 mile in length. Glacier travel training is recommended. One can ascend climbers right onto the West Face ridge from the top of Cascade Gulch, though you will find sections of loose rock and tallus and perhaps even some 4th class scrambling if you stick to the ridge proper. This route overall is very "roundabout" but hosts beautiful views of the Whitney Glacier, the east side of Shastina, and is an area of the mountain not often traveled. Camping in the saddle of Shastina and Shasta is awesome, but be prepared for nuclear winds. Melt snow for water currently and anchor your tent well in Hidden Valley.