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Mt. Shuksan: weather/current conditions and cell service?

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Mt. Shuksan: weather/current conditions and cell service?

Postby Jaskic » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:28 pm

Hi All,

I'll be on Mt. Shuksan in about two weeks and I wanted to see if anyone could help me with the following:

(1) Weather: just trying to get an idea of what to really expect. I was on Mt. Adams at the same time last year and it was much warmer than both expected and usual. Any thoughts on a decent day time and night time temp that I could expect?

(2) Cell service: just trying to get the communications plan with the wife in place, so I'd like to know if I will/will not be able to send a sign of life (i.e. text message) from the mountain and up on the mountain.

(3) Any other beta...anything else anyone who has been up there recently has seen and would like to share, state of the trails, glaciers, weather trends, etc.

Anything and everything is helpful, thanks everyone!
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Re: Mt. Shuksan: weather/current conditions and cell service

Postby ExcitableBoy » Fri Aug 02, 2013 7:55 pm

The weather in the Washington Cascades is very predictable; it is either raining now or will be shortly. Seriously though, mid August will generally be 70s-low 80s in Seattle, factor in an average adiabatic lapse rate of 3.5 degrees F per 1000 feet and you can expect day time temperatures on the summit to be 40 -50 F during the afternoon. If you have poor weather or high winds it can be significantly colder. Expect colder night time temperatures, perhaps as low as freezing at high camp.

This year there is less snow than previous years at this time and some glaciers are more broken, others are just fine. You didn't specify which route, I am guessing either Fisher Chimneys or Sulphide Glacier both of which I have climbed into late August and September in years past.

If doing FC, I would anticipate icy conditions. Winnie's Slide (I knew some cats in college who bowling balled down that thing. I rappelled it once.), gaining the Upper Curtis and Hell's Highway will be the steepest sections and may require belaying. Bringing 2 -3 ice screws as well as other glacier kit would be prudent, although a second tool would prolly be overkill. Sulphide should be pretty chill, I got a good look at it on 7/30/2013 and it looked to be well filled in still.

As far as cell reception, Verizon is generally considered to have the best reception in the Cascades. I have had cell reception from the summits in the Pickets, which is about as remote as the Cascades get. I suspect you may have trouble depending upon which aspect of the mountain you are climbing, but you prolly will have reception from the summit. I believe there is a cell tower at the Mt Baker ski resort which is on Shuksan arm. I recall skiing the North Face one winter and I had cell reception, I think.

Have fun. In my mind Shuksan is the most iconic peak in the North Cascades. Every route I've done is worthy and the views are pretty stellar.
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Jaskic

Re: Mt. Shuksan: weather/current conditions and cell service

Postby Jaskic » Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:28 pm

Thanks @ExcitableBoy! We'll be on the Sulphide Glacier route, and we're super excited. I was just really surprised last year at how warm it was (if I remember correctly, Portland was in the middle of a heat wave). Even at 0200 at high camp it was barely into the 40's and generally quite warm.

Great news on the cell reception as well, it'll make the wife (and mother) feel much better. :)
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Re: Mt. Shuksan: weather/current conditions and cell service

Postby ExcitableBoy » Sat Aug 03, 2013 12:36 am

You bet. I'm not so sure about cell reception on the Sulphide, I skied it before such things as cell phones, and it is on the opposite side of the mountain from the ski resort which reportedly has a cell tower. The Sulphide faces civilization more or less so I suppose if you get high enough you could get reception.
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Re: Mt. Shuksan: weather/current conditions and cell service

Postby BigMitch » Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:42 am

At the base of the Sulphide is a composting toilet with a great view of Mt. Baker! It was the finest view that I ever had while on the throne!
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