This is the easiest route on the north side of the peak, and is a less crowded alternative to the south facing Avalanche Gulch route. Good high camps with running water are available to near 11,000 feet. Weather and fitness are often the deciding factors of success on Shasta. If you want to tune up for Rainier, this is a good choice and often has better and more predictable weather. Finding your way in to the trailhead can be tricky - get a USFS map.
This is planned as a climb of the Hotlum-Wintum Snowfield. The route is described as follows: "From the Brewer Creek trailhead a climb into the alpine expanse of the Hotlum and Wintun glaciers is simply amazing. The route begins on low angle slopes near tree line, then steepens as one gains the moraine leading to the lower reaches of the huge snowfield. There are ample bivouac sites here between 9,800 and 10,000 feet on top of the moraine. As one ascends, the slope angle gradually kicks up, but nothing of concern. At around 12,800 feet the route begins to traverse climber’s left over a shallow ridge that separates the "Hotoon" from the Wintun, and below a steepening rock buttress. Climb up and climber’s right of Ship Rock, an isolated column of basalt at about 13,200 feet. From Ship Rock up is the steepest portion and the most highly consequential portion of the route. Slope angle at the top of the chute just below the true summit is over 40 degrees. A variation of this route continues straight up, foregoing the traverse at 12,800 feet, finishing through the narrowing chute at the top of the snowfield."
Our planned itinerary is:
July 2nd: Meet at the Brewer Creek Trailhead at 9:00. We'll assess group gear, get our self-issued Summit Permits ($25), then head out to hike to camp (~ 2700 ft gain). We'll set up camp then hit the sack early for an alpine start.
July 3rd: Summit climb (~ 4000 ft) then return to camp. Options to descend to the trailhead or stay a second night will be discussed within the group and will be based on timing and group fitness.
July 4th: Drive home.
The night of July 1st and July 3rd (if we return to the TH) are up to each climber/car. I am planning to van camp at the trailhead.
Based on conditions the route may be altered to the Clear Creek route, a B-level climb.