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We had a hot and smokey hike to the base of the Hotlum Glacier. Smoke coming up from the Dixie fire to the south reduced the visibility to a few miles. We heard the occasional thwack of colliding rocks from treeline, signaling an abnormal stong flow of meltwater from the glaciers.
With the hot days, more dry glacier ice and open crevasses are becoming exposed. Any remaining snow bridges are thin. Reports from guides expressed the increasing difficulty of finding a route through the maze of cracks and crevasses. Full glacier travel protocol and skills are necessary to consider this route.
There is good camping at 10,000 feet, where the toe of the glacier feeds into two tarns. Ample flowing water is available, but the water is silty, and filtration is necessary. As always, a summit pass, wilderness permit, and human waste wag bag are required to climb Mt. Shasta, and whatever you pack in, please pack out.