Mt. Shuksan Sulphide Glacier 4-Day Climb with International Mountain Guides
Mt. Shuksan is one of the highest non-volcanic peaks in the Northwest at 9,127 feet. One of the most strikingly beautiful peaks in the United States it is also the most heavily photographed. Our route of ascent is via the Sulphide Glacier, the most direct route up the mountain with the fewest technical difficulties. The broad rolling expanse of the Sulphide Glacier provides a moderate roped glacier approach to the final 600 foot rock summit. This final challenge involves either steeper snow in early summer or third class rock scrambling to the very summit pinnacle in the later summer months. The final pyramid makes for a very spectacular and scenic summit experience.
Mt. Shuksan has it all for the aspiring mountaineer: A beautiful hike through dense forest and up into the alpine zone leads to our camp at the base of permanent snow. The rolling glacier terrain above camp is perfect for training in ice axe arrest, cramponing and crevasse rescue skills. The summit pyramid provides an opportunity to experience steeper roped snow climbing and moderate rock scrambling to the summit pinnacle. Your IMG guide will take you through the training process and to the summit of Mt. Shuksan for a classic Northwest mountain experience.
This ascent is suitable for first time climbers or veterans of past climbing adventures looking for a spectacular climb. The second day of the program will involve training with crampons, use of an ice axe, ice axe arrest, roped glacier travel and crevasse rescue. This is a good first time introduction to glacier travel or a comprehensive refresher course for those with previous experience. However, all participants must be in very good physical condition. The need to train for this climb cannot be overstressed! For several months prior to the start of the climb, training should include lots of long, slow distance runs over hilly terrain, an hour or more in duration. Add additional weekend outings carrying a heavy pack (50-60 lbs.) up steep hills or stairs. These sessions should gain 2-3,000 feet over 3 or more miles.
North Cascades Custom Programs
The North Cascades of Washington are a climber's playground and offer a complete variety of challenges in a great mountain wilderness. It is here that the greatest climbers of North America cut their teeth learning the skills necessary to make them competent climbers. The legends of our climbing history spent endless amounts of time exploring this vast empire of mountainous terrain making many peaks famous through literature like the "50 Classic Climbs". If you are looking for adventure on a grand scale, but need to manage your time, then it is here that you will find it. Custom climbs can be arranged to your schedule and interests. Minimum party size is 2 climbers and 1 guide (though solo private climbs at 1:1 ratio are available). Minimum duration for a North Cascades climb is 3 days.
Options for Custom Mt. Shuksan Climbs:
- Sulphide Glacier Route (Beginner level)
- 3 days for those with prior ice axe arrest, cramponing and rope travel training
- 4 days required for those lacking prior training
- Fisher Chimneys Route (Intermediate level)
- 4 days, for climbers with experience following 4th class rock and moderately steep snow/ice only
- North Face Route (Advanced level)
- 4 days, for climbers with steep snow/ice climbing and 4th class rock skills only
Our unparalleled guide ratios allows us to offer a higher level of instruction, move more quickly, increase our flexibility and our rate of success. This is what sets us apart from the rest. Techniques that will be used and introduced may include movement over rock, ice axe arrest, use of crampons, rope travel, running belays and fixed line work making this an excellent primer for a Mt. McKinley expedition, climbing elsewhere in Alaska, the Alps, and other big alpine climbs. If you are not in need of beginning instruction then give us a call and we will recommend a guided climb based on your previous experience.
For all climbs we will be carrying our full load of gear in to base camp. All participants must be in very good physical condition. The need to train for this climb cannot be overstressed! For several months prior to the start of the climb, training should include lots of long, slow distance runs over hilly terrain, an hour or more in duration. Add additional weekend outings carrying a heavy pack (50-60 lbs.) up steep hills or stairs. These sessions should gain 2-3,000 feet over 3 or more miles. It would also be helpful to get out in the snow during the winter and practice with a pack on steeper slopes.
Possible Course Objectives
Increasing technical knowledge/skills in all aspects of snow and alpine climbing including:
- Basic snow and ice climbing.
- Glacier travel and crevasse rescue
- Alpine rock climbing techniques
- Alpine rock climbing ascents
- Rope/belay techniques
- Crevasse rescue
- Route finding
- Developing educated, self-reliant climbers with the ability to evaluate subjective/objective hazards including: travel over glacier and alpine terrain, mountain weather, wilderness navigation