I am looking to climb Shasta the end of March beginning of April and was looking at the Casaval route. We are going to allow for more then one day but i am trying to get some tips on route conditions during this time, or any suggestions to a backup route if this would not be the most appropriate one for this time of the season. I/We have had successful summits of Rainier,Hood and Marcy
I'm not an expert as I have only done Casaval Ridge once, but I think it would be a good choice for the time frame you have identified.
We camped at an excellent location at about 11k feet. This allowed a descent down the west face directly to camp - no climbing back up! This also allowed us to descend easily off the ridge down to Helen Lake and out the normal route.
As for being technical, my partner had only used an ice axe and crampon once before in the mountains. We did not rope up but saw some parties who did. There is tremendous route latitude so you will hear different versions of how steep/difficult the route is. We found short sections of hard, 45 degree snow and some exposed 4th class rock. We intentially stayed as true to the ridge crest as was feasible.
Sorry to resurrect this but it seemed appropriate.
With all the snow do you think that Avalanche Gulch will still be in climbable shape in August or will it be a talus climb? If it melts out, will crampons and snowshoes still be necessary or could I save weight there?
The reason I ask is I'm going to be working in Utah from March until November with a week off in August. I might have a break in May but I'm not sure.