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Mount Shuksan Three Day Ascent

Skill Level:
Beginner - Intermediate
Fitness Level:
Washington - North Cascades
custom dates available
Trip Duration:
3 days

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Mount Shuksan, with its huge glaciers, lofty size, chiseled shape and wild location is a very special mountain and an ideal objective for those seeking a good foundation of mountaineering skills. Our climb starts with full packs in temperate rain-forests. The hike then takes us up and up into gradually changing ecosystems until we reach the sub-alpine Shannon ridge. Here we bathe in views of Mt. Baker and the North Cascades as we hike along the ridge and then up to high camp located in alpine terrain. We camp at the base of the mighty Sulphide glacier which creates an ideal classroom for learning the skills needed for a climb of this nature. On summit day we cross large glaciers with big yawning crevasses until we get to the summit pyramid. The classic summit pyramid gives us several different easy rock climbing or scrambling options to get to the top. Come join Peregrine Expeditions for this awesome climb!

Daily Itinerary:

Day 1:  7:00 a.m. Meet at REI in Bellingham or if arriving from the south meet group in Sedro-Wooley. Introductions, gear check and last chance to buy items. We will arrive at the Shuksan trailhead in early afternoon. Hiking begins at 2,500 feet of elevation. We hike three and half miles up to camp at 5,700 feet and set up camp.

Day 2:  8:00 a.m. leave camp and practice skills throughout the day.

Day 3:  3:00 a.m. leave camp for summit climb. This will put us on the summit somewhere between 8 and 10 AM. The summit of Mt Shuksan is at 9,200 feet and is a very dramatic place. Last several hundred feet of the climb is a rock scramble which is not difficult but requires ropes for safety. Typically we rappel to get off the summit. Once back on the sulphide glacier we hike descend down to camp. After a small rest and fuel and hydrate we pack up camp and descend to the car. This last day will get us back to town between 4:30 and 6:00 PM.

note:  Many parties opt to summit on day two and enjoy a more leisurely itinerary on day three.  It's important to consider that you will not learn nearly as much with this itinerary.  

Mountaineering skills taught:

Skills covered Day 1:

  • Efficient backpacking for climbers
  • Map, compass and GPS
  • Mountain Weather
  • Glacier formation

Skills Covered Day 2:

  • Snow school
  • Intro to crampons and ice axe
  • Movement skills on Basic snow and ice
  • Self Arrest
  • Intro to using ropes to manage steep terrain
  • Belay options
  • Glacier travel and crevasse rescue

Skills Covered Day 3:

  • Time management
  • Pacing
  • Basic Rock Movement
  • Rappelling
  • Glacier travel