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Hotlum Glacier Conditions
We found the lower Hotlum Glacier to be very wet with running water, more so than I've seen in 20 years. Many gushing "water slides" are cut into the "dry" bare glacial ice. On two separate forays higher onto the glacier we found sloppy conditions in the morning with no real overnight freeze. From observations at 11,600 ft, the route seemed to be impassable up high onto the step with the Bergshrund being very large and open (see photo).
Our team's high point was the large crevasse at 12,000 ft at the top of the 2nd ice fall. To pass this crack would have involved crossing a wet snowbridge onto a short 6-8 foot section of vertical climbing. The risk vs reward as not worth the effort to continue considering the liklihood of being blocked again shortly above that point. There was no other way around without entering the ice fall in warm conditions...not a good idea. The Holtum Glacier route is likely done for the season.
However, we found good conditions at 11,400 ft near the 1st icefall for crevasse rescue practice in a few suitable crevasses . Camp at 10,100 ft had (not surpisingly) plenty of running water, almost too much.