Hi there Cascade climbers,
I'm a beginner mountaineer and alpine climber from California.
Me and my partner are considering attempting the Hotlum-Bolam Ridge route on Shasta, in about a month, 3rd week of April. Any advice would be much appreciated. Is it too early in the season to ascend the North aspect?
It'll be our first attempt on Shasta and out first climb in the cascades. I know, the answer is we rookies should cut our teeth on avalanche gulch or one of the more popular routes first to experience a glaciated volcano. Yet, we have trained and are training quite extensively in the Sierra and southern CA peaks, and plan to be up to speed with most concerns on a mountain like Shasta, albeit proper glacier experience is one thing we don't have due to the lack of of them here in California.
We have experience climbing and leading AI 2-3 and WI 2, 3 and 4, and are able to do 12K' gain (out of which 5K' sustained snow and ice climbing) in one long day. So we believe we could climb the ridge and come back in one push if needed, but are also very open to the idea of bivying on the ridge, carrying more and going slower. Any suggestions?
Any and all advice from experienced PNW climbers is much appreciated.