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Mt. Shasta Conditions

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Re: Mt. Shasta Conditions

Postby mrchad9 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:34 pm

Hotlum Glacier on August 26 was in great shape (perhaps ideal) with a lot of open crevasses, we crossed the bergshund without placing protection (and it was huge in spots). The right side of the headwall looked melted out and we went left following the chute closest to the headwall, placed a few screws and a couple pickets on the way up above the bergshrund.

Calm conditions last Saturday, but horridly windy on Sunday. Luckily the route itself (but not our camp) was largely protected from the wind throughout the climb. A bit rough on the summit though. It was likely the best route to climb that day, other routes appeared too exposed to the wind and only one other party seemed to sign the register (not certain their route). Bonus was that the wind cleared all the smoke from the area, otherwise the views wouldn't have been as good.

EDIT- and btw it was a bit chilly and the snow was so hard that glissading down the east side is a non-starter. Had to walk the whole way down.
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Re: Mt. Shasta Conditions

Postby clmbr » Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:55 pm

mrchad9 wrote:Hotlum Glacier on August 26 was in great shape (perhaps ideal) with a lot of open crevasses, we crossed the bergshund without placing protection (and it was huge in spots). The right side of the headwall looked melted out and we went left following the chute closest to the headwall, placed a few screws and a couple pickets on the way up above the bergshrund.
. . .

Any pics of the chute? What time were you on the glacier. I assume it was hard and safe to cross.

mrchad9 wrote:. . .
Calm conditions last Saturday, but horridly windy on Sunday. Luckily the route itself (but not our camp) was largely protected from the wind throughout the climb. A bit rough on the summit though. It was likely the best route to climb that day, other routes appeared too exposed to the wind and only one other party seemed to sign the register (not certain their route). Bonus was that the wind cleared all the smoke from the area, otherwise the views wouldn't have been as good.

Where did you camp and which route did you descent?
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Re: Mt. Shasta Conditions

Postby mrchad9 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:14 pm

We started at 7:30 at reached the summit at 1:30 (zig zagging around and enjoying the views at a relaxed pace). Perfect timing in my opinion. Below the bergshrund we kind of targeted getting close to as many crevasses as possible (which was an easy objective). Pic of the chute below, you really can't see it all if any closer. We did some of it unprotected and simul climbed the rest.

Camped at the highest feasible camp on the far left side of the moraine below the small headwall next to the first icefall. About 10,800 feet and there is running water there and at any other reasonable camp. With the wind it'd have been better to camp at the spots at 10,000 feet, but we wanted to be closer to the glacier and had calm conditions heading in. Descended Hotlum-Wintun ridge.

IMG_0872.JPG
Route up left chute on Hotlum
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Re: Mt. Shasta Conditions

Postby clmbr » Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:49 pm

Thanks Chad. That's kind of mine approach to climbing, "enjoying the views at a relaxed pace." No ice worms in the streams?

I'll be there soon after 6 of September (I may even drive there on 6th). However, I'm thinking of setting a camp on Hotlum/Bolum ridge because I intend to climb both sides, then go to McLoughlin and back to Shasta (perhaps for just a day attempt). Maybe I see you there.

And thanks for the picture, it looks clear to me.
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Re: Mt. Shasta Conditions

Postby mrchad9 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:21 pm

Probably not then, but I may be going up the week after. If anyone wants to meet up send me a note.

No worms in streams, not too sure about the snow as we didn't really look for them, but we didn't see any regardless.
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Re: Mt. Shasta Conditions

Postby Burchey » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:55 pm

Hey Chad,

I know it's earlier in the season in my shot and from different angle, but the route we took looks quite different from yours. Looks like you really got up under the headwall and traversed left. Is that the more correct route?

Edit: this older photo shows what I'm talking about more clearly. The red line is the way I went up. I wish I'd hit the blue line (more ice showing and it went all the way up), green line looks like your route. What's the actual route, or does it matter?

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Re: Mt. Shasta Conditions

Postby mrchad9 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:26 am

That's right, we took the green line. You can do any variation desired of course. We wanted to get close to the headwall and currently the bergshrund is biggest (most impressive) if you take the green route, but still easy enough. It involves a bit of a steep traverse left as you can see but that part was not hard ice and we mostly didn't protect it.

Hard to tell from my first pic, but currently the blue route is completely melted out and the red wasn't much better, so it was an easy choice.

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Hotlum Routes
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Re: Mt. Shasta Conditions

Postby Burchey » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:43 am

Thanks Chad, that makes total sense.

See? We can get along...
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Re: Mt. Shasta Conditions

Postby clmbr » Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:18 am

I've spent three days on Shasta, Wednesday-Friday. I played with crevasses on Bolam Glacier on Thursday and climbed Hotlum Glacier on Friday. The weather was perfect except on Friday. It was annoyingly windy on the upper part of the mountain and clouds from South were monopolizing the top. I did not remember this from weather forecast.

Both glaciers had very hard snow or ice (including blue ice patches). The walls of crevasses were solid ice even though looked very white. Believe me I fell in one. There are more crevasses on Hotlum than I've seen for years. Be prepared to deal with crevasses even on the Hotlum/Bolam Ridge route; unless you climb very high the steeper angle close to the rock or just the rocky ridge itself.

Water: Around the standard base camp there was a strong water stream. I camped a few hundred feet above the Marine camp, just on the end of the sow field and had to be creative to get some water. On the way down I started descending this snow field but soon got back on the ridge because the snow caps were almost completely filled up with water.

One more thing, make sure your tools are sharp; it's not what you see from the TH..


As of Coquette Falls TH, I think I drove the right road which was crazy, especially its upper part, but don't recommend it as a good access to the Bolum glacier right now. Once you get out of the car on the end of that road there is no trail, just dust , bushes, grass, and scree and the glacier is far away. I forget to look back to check out at which place I left the forest and had some hard time to find my car. Well that was my mistake. :lol:
Last edited by clmbr on Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:40 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Mt. Shasta Conditions

Postby kylenicolls » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:01 am

Good that you got out of the crack ok, you have partner(s)? One of these days I'd like to get out on the north side of Shasta for 2 nights to practice and summit. Depends where I get a job though. Er.
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Re: Mt. Shasta Conditions

Postby jibmaster » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:33 am

clmbr wrote:As of Coquette Falls TH, I think I drove the right road which was crazy, especially its upper part, but don't recommend it as a good access to the Bolum glacier right now. Once you get out of the car on the end of that road there is no trail, just dust , bushes, grass, and scree and the glacier is far away. I forget to look back to check out at which place I left the forest and had some hard time to find my car. Well that was my mistake. :lol:


:lol: I find that TH to be entertaining. What type of vehicle were you driving?
If you were on the right road, it drops you off right next to the Bolam drainage. Can't get lost.
I guess it's more fun with the right vehicle.
The other option is to take the road to the left, closer to the big 'North Gate peak'. Nice access to the Hotlum.

Glad you had a good time. Sounds like fun. Wish I was there.
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Re: Mt. Shasta Conditions

Postby clmbr » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:55 pm

I'm still in Shasta z City hoping to climb again tomorow, just the standard route. . I'll write more after come back to SF. But yes I was alone and have jeep grand cherokee.
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Re: Mt. Shasta Conditions

Postby Vitaliy M. » Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:09 am

glad you are ok clmbr, there are for sure a load of crevasses out there now. took some navigation.
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Re: Mt. Shasta Conditions

Postby clmbr » Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:00 am

Bolam Glacier from Coquette Falls TH
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Coquette Falls
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Re: Mt. Shasta Conditions

Postby clmbr » Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:16 am

Video with crevasses of Bolam and Hotlum Glacier as of week ago.


Here is the trip report describing my crevasse fall and self rescue which happened a week ago on Hotlum Glacier:
Falling in a crevasse on Hotlum Glacier, Mt Shasta

Here is the link to the discussion if you care:
A solo climber falls in a crevasse on Hotlum Glacier, Shasta
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