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N/E Side Mountain Conditions

Climbing Route(s): Bolam/Whitney Ridge, Bolam Glacier, Hotlum/Bolam Ridge, Hotlum Glacier, Hotlum/Wintun Snowfield, Wintun Glacier
Trailhead(s): Brewer Creek, Northgate
Mt. Shasta
Date/Time of Observation: 
Tuesday, May 24, 2022 - 10:15am
Climbing Ranger

General Conditions

Rangers have been busy on the south side of the mountain but got out on the east side today to check out conditions. An attempt at the Hotlum/Bolam was thwarted due to very high winds. Vehicle access to Brewer Creek Trail Head is still hampered by some lingering snow patches. Today it looked like someone busted through them to get to the trail head, but we don't recommend this as they're still deep and the chances of getting stuck are high. Remember, the east side of Mount Shasta is remote and cell service is spotty at best! Snow on the road is firm during the morning and may support the weight of your vehicle, but in the afternoon will be a slushy mess. It's still best to park and walk the mile to the trail head. 

From Brewer Creek Trail Head there is patchy snow until around 8,500' - 9,000' depending on your route. The lower elevation snow is melting rapidly. The route appears to be in good shape and has seen recent ascents and ski descents. See pictures for more detail. The trail head is stocked with wilderness permits, summit passes, and pack out bags. Remember that these three items are required to climb Mount Shasta. Due to washouts from the winter, a high clearance 4x4 vehicle is necessary to get up to Brewer Creek. 

Moving on to Northgate Trail Head: The trail head is open and accessible to vehicles and stocked. High clearance 4x4 vehicle recommended. The trail is clear all the way up to the bench above North Gate. The route appears to be pretty icy and more technical than a normal early season. That said, it appears climbable and parties have been attempting the route. Consider bringing a rope, snow pickets, ice screws, crevasse rescue gear, along with the normal mountaineering tech kit (ice axe(s), crampons, helmet, harness, etc). This is definitely a step up in difficulty and commitment from Avalanche Gulch, as it appears there is mandatory glacier travel among open(ing) crevasses and potentially some steep ice to contend with. See pictures below for more detail. 


  • View of the north side of the mountain from highway 97.
  • View of the Hotlum Bolam ridge from North Gate.
  • Hotlum/Bolam ridge.
  • Hotlum/Bolam ridge approach.
  • North side of Shastina.
  • Hotlum/Wintun ridge at sunrise.
  • Brewer Creek Trail Head.
  • Hotlum/Wintun approach.
  • Hotlum/Wintun approach.
  • Hotlum/Wintun from 8,500'.