Overview of Guided Climbing of Mount Shuksan
Mount Shuksan is situated on the northwestern edge of the famed North Cascades National Park in Washington and is a mere 10 miles east of neighbor Mount Baker. The world record holder for annual snowfall – the Mount Baker Ski Area – is actually located on the flanks of Mount Shuksan. It is a massive and complex mountain and is often compared to the Weisshorn of the Swiss Alps. Its varied rock terrain, hanging glaciers, and complicated route finding making it an excellent objective for the beginning or advanced climber.
The Fisher Chimneys Route is a longer, more involved and advanced climb than the standard Sulphide Glacier route, and is a great introduction to intermediate level alpine climbing with reasonable technical difficulties. The ascent follows a scenic glacier-carved valley to a little lake overlooking a spectacular basin. The climb initially involves easy rock climbing in a series of chimneys, then climbs a fun and short section of alpine ice, and continues over moderate glaciated terrain on parts of three different glacier systems. All routes on Mount Shuksan culminate with the imposing 700 foot summit pyramid which is commonly climbed up a central snow and rock gully, or the more aesthetic 5.5 rock of the southeast ridge. Join us on our climb of the Fisher Chimneys and share in the beauty and grandeur of Mount Shuksan!
Itinerary Shuksan Alpine Climbing
The drive from Seattle to the trailhead takes approximately 3.5 hours. Our approach to Mt Shuksan begins by Artist Point. Todady we hike all the way to high camp, enjoying a traverse and easy rock climbing (4th to low 5th) in a series of chimneys on the way. Above the chimneys, we climb up Winnies Slide on moderate snow and ice seat up high camp.
Summit day begins at Mt Shuksan with a pre-dawn start. We climb up and over parts of three different glaciers – the White Salmon, Upper Curtis and Sulphide Glaciers. The final section of the Fisher Chimneys Route concludes with a 5.0 rock climb up the central part of the summit pyramid, or a 5.5 variation up the SE Ridge. The summit of Mt Shuksan is perhaps one of the finest vantage points in all of the North Cascades! The long descent is made by reversing the climbing route. Today we descend to High Camp for rest and celebration.
Today we break camp, and hike and climb all the way down back to the Artist Point trailhead. Expect to arrive back in Seattle by late afternoon or early evening.
- The selection and use of personal equipment, ropes, knots and harnesses
- Crampon use and snow climbing techniques, ice axe positioning, and self arrest techniques
- Roped glacier travel, rope team management, route finding, and crevasse navigation
- Hazard assessment including a discussion of objective vs. subjective hazards
- Camp construction, camp management, and cold weather camping skills
- Proper clothing and climbing gear for survival in the high mountains, mountain weather, alpine ecology, avalanche hazard assessment, and Leave No Trace ethics
Travel Insurance and Rescue Insurance
We require the purchase of insurance plans to protect you from the unexpected. Please consult with your insurance company with any specific questions, regarding coverage, and policy details, and if you have any questions contact our offices.
We recommend that you bring snacks to supplement the mountain lunches for 3 days. Take snacks that you genuinely enjoy. Eating well is the key to maintaining your strength while in the mountains. And in order to combat the loss of appetite at altitude, it is best to have a variety of foods from which to choose, from sweet to sour to salty.