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Hotlum/Bolam Ridge and Hotlum Glacier

Climbing Route(s): Bolam Glacier, Hotlum/Bolam Ridge, Hotlum Glacier
Trailhead(s): Brewer Creek, Northgate
Mt. Shasta
Date/Time of Observation: 
Tuesday, June 13, 2023 - 12:00pm

General Conditions

We spent 3 days skiing on the glaciers from a high camp at approximately 10,100 feet on the Hotlum/Bolam Ridge. We used our running shoes to approach from the Northgate trailhead for the first couple of miles. At approximately 8,000 feet, near tree line, we were able to don our ski boots. We clipped into our skis and ascended via climbing skins to gain the terminal moraine directly above where the trail leaves tree line.  From here, intermittent skinning on strips of snow and bootpacking on gravel rock got us to our high camp near the bottom of a more consistent snowfield with running water. We setup our high camp in the lateral moraine that is commonly used to the access the upper part of the Hotlum/Bolam climbing route. On Day 2, we skinned up the Chicago and Hotlum Glaciers. The upper bergshrund on the Hotlum Glacier is well-bridged. Above the Hotlum Glacier, we stashed and anchored our skis. We donned boot crampons, ice axes, and climbed to the summit via the upper Hotlum/Bolam Ridge on snow and rock.  Snow coverage below and above the Rabbit Ears is consistent enough that the traverse to the upper Bolam is not necessary. On our descent, we skied the Bolam Ramp (chute) at 11am and found very good corn snow.  The snow surface had recently been "rain groomed" due to afternoon convective showers and this improved the quality of the skiing. On Day 3, we climbed the Hotlum/Bolam Ridge and skied the entirety of the Hotlum Glacier to the terminus. The upper glacier has good bridging and snow coverage over the crevasses. The lower half of the glacier currently has good coverage but it will melt out quickly. 


  • Skiing near the middle icefall on the Hotlum Glacier.
  • Looking down the Hotlum Glacier from near 12,50 feet shortly after skiing over the upper bergshrund.
  • Looking at the Hotlum/Bolam Ridge from the Northgate Trailhead on June 14, 2023.
  • Our camp at 10,100 feet on the lateral moraine on the Hotlum/Bolam Ridge. We found running water here.
  • Clipping into our skis at our camp at 10,100 feet. These patches of snow will melt quickly and likely be gone by next week.