Very cool trip. Two teams of four climbers (SMG). About a 12 hour day (round trip) from base camp (Marines camp). On the trail at 4 am. On top around noon. Back in camp around 3:30 pm. Good route conditions and most of the crevasses were bridged over. Began by traversing across the lower portion of the Bolam glacier to the Whitney moraine. Roped up and began the ascent. At about 12,000 ft we packed up the ropes and continued our ascent on a 40 degree slope to gain another 1,000 ft. This topped out at the plateau and the summit was just a short distance from there. Our descent route was down the Hotlum Bolam ridge. A few good places there to get in some good glisading.
Used Bolam TH (5500ft) for a true Whitney glacier experience. Long approach day through boulders, bushwhack, deerbrush, trees, etc. Had a great scenic camp. Climbed through the ice falls for more fun on the summit day. Went directly left for the direct finish to the plateau.
Tough hike in from the Bolam Trailhead with Vitaliy M. and Max, but coming up the moraine from below made it worth it. Some cool streams off the end of the glacier and crevasses right at camp. As we rested at camp we could here a (very) loud crack as the ice shifted.
Zigzagged through the lower and middle ice falls on the way up the next morning. Lots of fun and great scenery. Out the same day.
Climbed with Steve Larson, Kris J and Sean. Camped at 10700' (Marine's Camp) the night before. Headed up lower Bolam Glacier unroped and roped up on the Whitney Glacier around 10300'.
Crevasses were there, but it had been a big snow year so it was pretty mellow. Below the last icefall we turned left and headed straight up to the summit plateau for the direct finish.
Descended Hotlum-Bolam Ridge back to camp.
In a training climb for Rainier, my two companions and I climbed this route late May, takinmg three days total. We 4x4ed in to the Bolam/Whitney trailhead on the first day and ascended to the glacier. The "trail" up to the Whitney Glacier is unsigned, braided, and confusing. It begins following a washed out creek but quickly disintegrates from there. It was difficult to get to the toe of the glacier at about 10,000 ft - we ended up having to bushwhack through the trees, over a lots of lava rock, and worst of all, lots of manzanita. Even on the way down having some understanding of the way to go, we discovered there really is no one continuous pathway to follow, at least that we could find - only a series of half used paths, animals trails and guesses. If you take this route, be prepared with excellent map and compass skills as you will be traveling off-trail most of the time following significant features and using compass bearings. Make your own decisions where you need to go and stick to it. Still, that being said, if you just keep going you will get there eventually. Allocate about 6 hours both ways to and from high camp. We camped just at the lower part of the glacier in the moraines in the ablation zone around 10K and were grateful for the snow on the route that helped all the way up and down. Surprisingly, there was a pool of meltwater at our site.
The route itself was in great shape, no yawning crevasses to skirt this time of year, but plenty of evidence that they are there. We climbed essentially in the center of the glacier the whole way and had no problems. We left camp at 6 am and summitted before noon.
Interesting side note, on another moraine close by we found a piece of crumpled aluminum, painted white and green, that must have been from an airplane or a helicopter crash.
This is an adventurous route, probably the best glacier / "big mountain" experience on Shasta. The scenery is superb and you can expect some solitude.
Lost two tentfulls of gear, but otherwise a great trip (afterwards.) Marines insist on taking everything but the kitchen sink, so packs probably weighed in at around 70-80 pounds to base camp. Had alot of fun diving into crevasses. Would love to go back some day!
I climbed this with the CMC. We camped for two nights on the moraine. Our official team leader was struck by rockfall just below the summit block and was helicoptered away. This meant that the four of us who remained had to divy up her gear for the slog back.