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Hotlum-Bolam Ridge

July 2018

John Gooding and a few random from Berkeley's hiking club were fixing to put up a route up the North face of Mt. Shasta called Hotlum-Bolam Ridge. I figured I could use a break from work in Morgan Hil, so I darted up to Berkeley to pile in John's sedan and make our way to the trailhead.

In his usual fashion, John drove the whole way, and after an eventful drive up a gnarly dirt road, we made it to the trailhead for a good night's sleep. We were up bright and early and began the trek to basecamp. The various fires in the area made for poor air quality, but it was a beautiful and enjoyable climb nonetheless.


A motley crew, with our goal in towering in the background


A pleasant jaunt up to camp

We made it to the lower basecamp in the afternoon, and decided to settle down there, since it was next to running water. We relaxed for the afternoon, and talked a bit of strategy regarding tomorrow's summit attempt. John was feeling a bit whacked, but we all kept our spirits high.

In the morning we set off well before the sun was up, and hit the snow/ice almost immediately. We taught the girls how to use crampons and ice axes, and the kept rolling on. Conditions were quite nice, and the snow was firm. John began to feel quite sick, and decided to turn around. The girls and I pushed on, and made our way up some nice snowy steeps. There were some guided groups out too that gave us some tips on route-finding.

After a while, we crossed onto some rock fields, and did mostly snowless scrambling the rest of the way up. The summit was quite nice, and it was cool to see it without snow, unlike my winter summit the year previous.


Some folks on a guided tour


Pick your poison -- but pick the snow because it is way easier...


Cleary making her way up some rocky ascents


Almost there


14,179 ft -- my second summit of Mt. Shasta

We made it back down to basecamp in one piece, and met back up with John, who was feeling better. A tedious hike back down to the car took a few hours, but we finally made it. Somehow, in our disorganized flurry to get packed and on the road, Erica forgot to put her backpack in the car, which we didn't realized until we were in Berkeley. Fortunately some hikers tracked her down the next day, and arranged for the rangers to mail it to her -- those are some trail angels!

Sick weekend with some rad folks.

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