Jun 18 2012

TR: Mt. Shasta, Hotlum Glacier

This is my favorite time of year. Early summer corn season at Shasta! As usual, I was jibbing solo. The plan was to head to the east side. I didn’t really have a plan beyond that, just trying to get some good turns. Ended up skiing something a bit different than usual. The hunt for good corn was a success!

Seracs on the Hotlum Glacier.

The south side looked to still be in good shape on the way in.

Avalanche Gulch from Interstate 5

Grabbed a bite to eat in town and headed on over to the Brewer Creek TH. Found the usual snow drift chillin’ in the usual spot about a mile before the TH, just before the last switch back. Several vehicles were there when I arrived. Robin (telewoman) was there with a friend. They had skied that day and were camping out and skiing the next day as well.

The Hotlum Glacier just before sunset

View of the Hotlum from Brewer Creek trailhead road

Good to see you again, Robin! We hung out for a bit watching the light change on the mountain.  The afternoon buildup was dissipating.  We watched the clouds billow over the mountain and the snow light up with the evenings alpenglow.  

I really had no plan other than hiking up the drainage and finding skinnable snow.  The main route up the snow field between the Wintun and Hotlum Glaciers would be fine, but in the back of my mind, I really wanted something different.

Sneak peak through the trees.

Stuffed my sleeping bag into my bivy sack and crashed out shortly after dark. Woke up the next morning to the faint sound of my watch alarm. It was cooler than I had anticipated, 33°, just a hair above freezing. I arrived too late for a real early morning, so a 5am jib departure was going to have to work.

I hiked up the deep gully. Only a few patches of snow down by the vehicles. The gully usually holds snow for awhile, but not enough to skin up this time. The snow was thin in the woods, so I continued hiking up the patches. By the time the patches connected, I was in a groove, so I jibbed on with the skis on my back. The Voile Vector/Plum setup is so light, I barely felt the weight.

Time to skin.

Hiked up for about an hour before I went to skins. The mountain was coming into view through the trees.

Wintun Glacier (L), Hotlum Glacier (R)

A view of the upper mountain.

Wind scoured snow above the Lower Headwall.

I could see the upper mountain real close using the 20X zoom on my camera. The snow looked a bit rough above 10,000′.

As I was skinning up, the Hotlum Glacier looked really good. I was right above the TH, in the woods and knew I had to traverse hikers left to catch the main route. It didn’t look like the snow patches in the drainages connected. I decided to stay right and see if I could hook up with the Hotlum.

The Upper Headwall and Hotlum Glacier.

More backcountry adventure on Mt. Shasta on Page 2
© 2012