Mt Shuksan Ascents - 9131' / 2783m
Mt Shuksan is Mt Baker's neighbor to the east. Reputed to be the most photographed mountain in the Pacific Northwest, I once saw it gracing a tourism poster printed by the Nepal Ministry of Tourism!
This peak has something for everyone, from the beginner to hard. I have to admit a bias - Mt Shuksan is one of my personal favorites to climb and ski.
If your interested in skiing Mt Shuksan, check out my ski itineraries here: LINK.
Sulphide Glacier Route - IV 5.4, glacier, snow
This route ascends the south side of Shuksan. We'll hike a decent trail to reach the alpine terrain above treeline, then cross onto the Sulphide Glacier and ascend a bit further to reach a fantastic saddle with incredible sunset views of Mt Baker. On day two we'll have breakfast with sunrise and then finish the climb - summiting the pyramid requires either steep snow or low-grade rock (see the photo right). The third day will give us a relaxed exit out. It is possible to do this in two-days, but the second day is long - contact me for details.
Fisher Chimneys Route - IV 5.4, glacier, snow
This route climbs from the Mt Baker Ski Area on the west side. After a short hike, 4th class climbing through the Fisher Chimneys gains the Shuksan Arm ridge and the White Salmon Glacier, which we'll cross to reach an incredible perched bivouac site high on the mountain. On summit day we'll cross the upper glacier, climb the classic "Hell's Highway" couloir, and access the Sulphide Glacier and summit pyramid. This is another 3-day itinerary that can be done in two days for an additional rate fee - contact me below for details.
North Face - IV 5.7 AI1, glacier, steep snow
This is a classic north face of the Cascades. A true alpine route combining steep snow and moderate rock. Best climbed as an up-and-over gives us motivation for a light sleeping kit! From the Mt Baker Ski Area, we'll drop down to the river on the northwest side of the mountain and then climb up to a fantastic bivouac site at the toe of the ridge. On the second day we'll climb steep snowfields and possible low-angle ice interrupted by rock steps, then climb the summit pyramid via the NE Shoulder (5.7 rock). Then we'll finish the day by descending to the bivouac site on the Fisher Chimneys Route. Finally on the third day we'll finish descending the Fisher Chimneys, hike back to the car, and find the nearest beer!
NW Arayete - IV 5.9
This multi-pitch 5.9 route should become a new classic on Mt Shuksan. We'll spend the first day climbing the Fisher Chimneys Route (4th class, glacier, snow) to the bivouac, then descend the White Salmon Glacier to the start of the route. The climb actually reaches the summit of a sub-peak on Mt Shuksan, so after completing this 400m route we'll return to camp and descend the Fisher Chimneys on Day 3. It can be done in two days under special circumstances - contact me for more information.
All of these trips are fantastic 3 day itineraries - a few may qualify for 2-day itineraries, contact me if you're interested more in that. Best climbed June-October. Max ratio varies on route.
I offer these trips as a guide-employee of The Mountain Bureau.