Mt. Shuksan Climb Washington  •  9,127'  •  2782m

Mt. Shuksan Climb Frequently Asked Questions

This information should answer many of your initial questions and also guide you through the next stages of preparing for the expedition. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us:

What skills do I need?

For the Sulphide Glacier Route, there are no specific climbing prerequisites. All that is required is an eagerness to learn, a significant base of cardiovascular physical fitness, and previous experience carrying an overnight pack. You will be expected to carry this weight over the course of many hours each day. For training suggestions please review the information provided on our Training for Rainier page. This is a novice climb for those interested in learning elements of travel on big, glaciated mountains. Technical training is conducted during the pre-climb orientation and continually throughout the climb.

While the Shuksan Sulphide Climbs are suitable for novice climbers with little or no previous climbing experience, this program does require adequate fitness and endurance training in order to be successful.

What are the routes like?

The Sulphide Glacier route is the most direct route up the mountain with minimal technical climbing. 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, hands and feet rock scrambling to the very summit pinnacle in the later summer months. The final pyramid makes for a very spectacular and scenic summit 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 and roped glacier travel. 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 or hikes over hilly terrain, an hour or more in duration. Add additional weekend outings carrying a heavy pack (45-55 lbs.) up steep hills or stairs. These sessions should gain 2-3,000 feet over 3 or more miles.

The Fisher Chimneys route is an intermediate route to access to the upper glaciers of Mount Shuksan. Starting on the other side of the mountain from the Sulphide Glacier, a scenic trail takes climbers past the beautiful Lake Ann to the base of the Lower Curtis Glacier. At this point the trail changes to interesting but doable third and fourth class climbing interspersed with exposed walking on talus and heathery benches. These are the Fisher Chimneys, and they climb through the middle section of the mountain to 6700 feet on the White Salmon Glacier, near an incredibly scenic high camp, with close up views of icefalls and the massive Mount Baker in the distance. From the high camp, there are snow climbing and crevasse rescue training venues. The climb to the summit traverses the Upper Curtis Glacier, through Hell's Highway, to gain the upper Sulphide Glacier and access to the summit pyramid.

The Fisher Chimney route is an intermediate climb requiring participants to have prior alpine and rock climbing experience and be familiar with basic mountaineering skills including cramponing in firm ice and snow conditions. As with all IMG programs, a review of basic climbing skills is incorporated into this program's itinerary. Additional skills will be taught including multi pitch belayed climbing, lowering, and rappelling. Previous experience on multi day backpacking trips is highly recommended. This is a strenuous and more technically demanding summit climb, and is not for first time climbers.

While our Fisher Chimney programs are suitable for those with previous climbing experience, this program does require adequate fitness and endurance training in order to be successful.

How do I get there?

International Mountain Guides has worked for many years with the staff at CTT Destinations to provide professional travel service for participants in our programs. For help with your plans, we urge you to contact Pirjo at CTT Destinations: 800-909-6647 or

What kind of insurance do I need?

IMG requires that all* trip participants purchase Travel Insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation, repatriation and medical expenses for the duration of their IMG program. Trip Cancellation and Travel Insurance is strongly recommended. Trekking and mountaineering programs are true "adventure travel."

*The insurance requirement does not apply to IMG customers on programs within the contiguous USA (excluding Alaska) but is strongly encouraged.

What's included in the trip cost?

Cost Includes:

  • IMG's world-renowned guide staff
  • All training curriculum and instruction
  • Round trip transportation from IMG Headquarters to the start/end of the climb. *Note that this is subject to change based on Covid restrictions
  • Group equipment including tents, stoves, fuel, climbing ropes and group hardware
  • National Park entrance and climbing permits
  • Hot meals (breakfast and dinner) and hot drinks (coffee, tea, cocoa). *Note that this is subject to change based on Covid restrictions

Cost Does Not Include:

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