Mt. Shasta - Hotlum-Wintun Ridge

11-12 Jun 2004 - by Bill Strand

A group of 9 of us started Friday about 1pm, one mile down the road from the Brewer Creek Trailhead. The road still has several drifts and parking is available on the side of the road at the first drift (6,800 ft). The road switchbacks beyond the drift and we climbed directly uphill to the road and walked to the trailhead. The trail from the trailhead (7,200 ft) to our camp (9,800 ft) was mostly snow covered and well traveled and flagged. A rocky ridge running between about 9,600 ft and 10,000ft had many cleared out tent platforms and we chose a spot which would accommodate our group at 9,800 ft. We set up camp at 3pm and enjoyed an evening of mostly clear skies and views of Lassen to the south and McLaughlin to the north. There was a group of 4 camped across the snowfield from us and a group of 2 on the ridge below as well as a group or two camped much higher. Saturday we started at 6:15 am under clear skies and light winds. The winds became much stronger as the day progressed and included a lenticular cloud covering the summit for about an hour. The cloud eventually cleared but the winds were extremely strong on the summit. After summitting at 10:15 am we spent an hour on the summit pinnacle and just below it, out of the wind, enjoying lunch. The wind was out of the west and Hotlum-Wintun ridge route was somewhat protected. Climbers on the Avalanche Gulch route appeared to take the brunt of the hurricane force winds. This is an excellent route that provides relief from the crowded Avalanche Gulch route and offers good camping, moderate snow climbing and great views.

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