Mount Shuksan, with it’s huge glaciers, lofty size, chiseled shape and wild location is a very special mountain. Our climb starts with full packs in temperate rainforests. 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.
This is a guided ascent of Mount Shuksan. The program runs identically to Day 1 and Day 3 of the trip listed above although it is run more like a guided tour and less like a course. Most of what is learned on this climb is learned on the go. If you are not sure you are ready for the two day program please consider our three day program.
Day 1: 7:00 a.m. Meet at REI in Bellingham or meet the group Sedro-Wooley if driving from the South. Introductions, gear check and last chance to buy items. We will arrive at the Shuksan's Shannon Ridge trailhead in late morning or early afternoon. Hiking begins at 2,500 feet of elevation. We hike four and half miles up to camp at 5,700 feet and set up camp. This hike is a fairly big workout with full packs.
Day 2: 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. The last several hundred feet of the climb is a rock scramble which is not difficult but requires ropes for safety. The summit of Mt Shuksan is very exciting with only enough room for a small group and dramatic 6,000 foot drop in elevation down the North Face. 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.
- Good cardio vascular fitness.
- At minimum basic backpacking.
Skills that will be covored:
- Introduction to ice axe use
- Introduction to crampons
- Introduction to glacier travel
- Basic climbing techniques
- Basic rappeling