I decided to attempt summiting Mt. Shasta (14,180 feet) to prepare for hiking Mt. Whitney, which is more difficult is debatable. I went with Shasta Mountain Guides and learned basic mountaineering in the process. This includes learning to use ice axe, crampons, harness and other related equipment for self-arrest and traversing the mountain. The summit day was intense, waking up at about 3:00am and returning to the town at about 6:00pm.
Summiting Mt. Shasta was difficult but enjoyable. A guide is necessary, in my opinion, if you do not have experience with mountaineering gear. I was luckily to have good weather during my 3-day attempt of the summit.
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