Sixteen hours car to car on skis. The snow lower down was crusty and hard to ski, but the pyramid gully made for great cramponing. A great day. Climbed the NF on 30 May 08. A great route, would recommend it to anyone. Climbed the North Face spring 2008. Another asthetic climb up the beautiful peak.
Terrific weather & group. Camped up at the high camp with awesome 360-degree views.
Cloudy at camp, awoke to a few inches of new snow which melted off by mid-day. Summit pyramid was wet. Clouds broke when we reached the summit to give us some views.
new snow on summit pyramid, so we climbed the gully up the face
Climbed with good group of Mazamas, party of 6. Finding the start of the chimneys is a little tricky in darkness and low clouds, even for those that have climbed the route before. Snow and crevasse bridges in good shape. Finished the pyramid doing the SE Rib/Ridge (simul-climb) which is much more fun and solid than the standard central gully. A few pieces of smallish rock pro were used on this portion, and our group used the four pickets we carried for the steeper pitches of the glacier route. Completed ascent in under 8 hours, and descent under 7 hours, at leisurely and secure pace. Good transition management essential. Used brain bucket the entire day, and yes it came in handy on the descent thru the chimneys. Excellent route, great climb day above the clouds.
Wow, what a climb! Hike up to base camp from end of Shannon Creek camp road was a slog, over steep exposed roots and a lot of plant overgrowth. Great hike once out of the forest. Got up to base camp in afternoon, weather holding, but a lot of cloud cover obscuring the summit.
Started up the glacier at 6:30 am, which we figured out later was much too late. This was a busy place, with a lot of large groups heading up to the summit. Nice trip up the glacier...wanded the route in case of white out later.
Base of gulley on summit pyramid was a traffice jam of people heading up and down. Waiting for a large team to all rappel down put us back two hours. Gulley treacherous in places due to soft very steep snow, wet rocks, loose crap being dislodged from above, etc. I had a few 'high tone' moments in the gulley and pushed ahead despite being a bit wigged about it. Made the summit at 3 pm. Clouds swirled around and looked to be creating a potential white out..
Thankfully, another group that summited after us agreed that a double rappel would be the fastest way to get all the people off the summit, so we combined ropes, and descended the gulley with two long rappels as opposed to four.
Great descent......clouds disappeared and then one of the most amazing sunsets I've ever seen on the way down. Arrived at camp just at the moment that headlamps would be necessary.
Great climb, but definitely be prepared for anything, and if you bring rock pro, you could avoid having to deal with the gulley at all and could take the ridge, as suggested in cluck's entry in the summit log. We watched multiple teams trot up and down the ridge while we were still part way up the gulley.
FYI: you must use the composting toilet up at the base of sulphide glacier....a total zen moment to yourself with awe inspiring views of baker from the throne. Not your average backcountry scat experience.
What a full fun filled day! About 17 hours of hiking, scrambling, glacier crossing and descending back to Lake Ann. We had the full weather experience with great weather most of the day, rain and fog on the summit.
Well, I got a good taste of North Cascades climbing. Hiked with agorokhov and ClimbingSnow. We started from the Shannon Ridge trailhead (2500') just before noon on still partly cloudy skies. Then, half an hour into our approach, clouds started to come in. By the time we reached the North Cascades National Park boundary sign (at ~ 4700') at 3:30pm, clouds were very dark and it started to rain. Then, up the hill to the pass/saddle. Visibility less than 100 yards from here on. More and more rain.....we got quite soaked. We finally & quickly made camp at 6200' (about 50 yards uphill from the toilet). We tried our best to dry out all 3 of us on a small 2-man tent. It was crowded in there with Alex and David. It rained all night long....not only that, then the winds picked up and it howled most of the night. None of us got any sleep at all. By 8:30am next morning, we said f*** it, broke camp and headed down. All 3 of us got even more soaked on the walk-out (it had been raining now for over 20 hours...and was still raining!!) When we reached the trailhead, it looked like the 3 of us came out from a swim with all our clothes on......completely drenched in rain water. Ah.....the fun of North Cascades climbing! Bring several umbrellas!
We took the coulouir up in the midst of a really hot stretch which left the snow in there quite soft and easy to punch through. Found myself up to my chest in one or two spots but managed to get up and get some great views.
Camped at approx. 6000 ft on the glacier. Weather was horrible. Climbed in rain the entire time with visibility often less then 100 ft. Everything we had on were wet. Very soft snow made for tough climbing. We reached the base of summit pyramid (thanks to our GPS) but we wised up and headed back down.
I'll be back in August and hope for better weather next time.
Loads of fresh snow after 10 am. We did not bring snowshoes (or skis) and hence had a lengthy slog upto high camp at 6500 ft on the sulphide glacier. Conditions were near perfect the next morning though. Mike and I started for the summit at 3:30 am and had firm snow all the way to the top. It got cloudy and started snowing once we were at the base of the pyramid. Conditions were perfect on the couloir though - firm snow and ice at parts all the way up. Sustained at 45 degrees with several sections of 50-55 degrees. Downclimbing the pyramid was fun!
There were hardly any crevasses on the west end of the Sulphide glacier at this time. The one visible crevasse had a thick snowbridge across.
So, bring snowshoes/skis, and extra ice tool for the summit pyramid, and get a real early start on the summit day.
Approach day was all about the black flies. Summit day we were treated with pouring rain. Got to the top and looked at the beautiful fog. Got cold shivered for a while and came down. A great trip!
19 Hours and 10 minutes of fun!
What a hell of a day!
Climbed this fun route with a group of Chemeketans from camp near Lake Ann. This climb has it all - rock scrambling, steep snow, crevassed glaciers, and great views. The chimneys were easier than I expected on the way up, and harder on the way down (we did not do any rappels). Instead of taking the center gully up the summit block, I climbed the SE Ridge. This was fantastic climbing on solid rock with only a few somewhat scary, exposed moves. We spent quite a while on the summit before beginning the tedious downclimb through the gully, the glacier descent, and more tedious downclimbing through the chimneys.
Great mixed route on a very pretty mountain. Since most of the route is visible, it gives the impresion that the route is not that long but it is. Started very early from our camp just passed Lake Ann. The climbing through the chmineys was fun and easy as the chimneys are dry. Winnie's slide was steep and we protected it with 3 pickets. The Upper Curtis and Hells Highway were quite impressive. The traverse over the Sulphide Glacier and the heat almost put me asleep, fortunately the scramble up the summit block was refreshing. I think overall the route was in near ideal conditions, crevasses easy to avoid, chimneys and summit pyramid snow free. Great views of Baker and North Cascades despite the nearby fire which actaully closed the Lake Ann trail. The descent had hours of down climbing since we didn't rappel neither the summit block nor the chimneys. Back to car at 9pm and Portland was still far far away ...
Route was in excellent condition with the chimneys dry and only a couple of minor cracks to avoid on the upper glacier. Allow extra time on the summit block to get down if other parties are on it as there is a fair amount of loose rock. Could see where the Chimneys would be a bit dicey if they were wet, icy, or if you were decending them by headlamp. If I were to do it again, I would go lite and bivy above the Chimneys.
Nice route. We hit it at just the right time as the chimneys were snow free and the Upper Curtis Glacier was still mostly closed up. The central gully on the summit pyramid felt more difficult than third class with so much loose rock and running water. We rapped down the top 400 ft from the summit.
This was indeed one of the longest, most grueling days of my life, and just happened to be my first mountaineering experience. Arrived at the trail head approx. 3 a.m. and decided to get a little shuteye. Hit the trail about 7 a.m. with full backpack and ski gear. Initial trek to ridge was quite a workout, but really worth it once you get up on top. I dropped pack in the middle of the snowfield above the Sulphide glacier and made a run for the summit. Summit at 5 p.m., and with the help of an extra sling someone had left on a large horn at the top, my friend and I were able to quickly rappel off the pyrimid with the half-rope we had along. A quick boot ski down to my pack and I could put on the planks and cruise it down. Snow gave out just below Shannon Ridge and it was back to hiking. Back to trailhead at 9 p.m., exhausted! Ive never slept so good or had so much trouble getting out of bed in the morning! This trip despite its rushed planning, lack of mountaineering time management, and sadly...sunscreen, was one of the best things I have ever done in my life. It started a love affair with mountaineering that grows stronger everyday. My advice for this route. Start earlier, be in shape, and for the love of god, bring lots and lots of sunscreen. Cheers!
Wow, what a great mountain. Impressive no matter where you are on it. My buddy Steve and I made the long hike in to base camp at about 6200 ft. Bivied on a flattened out ledge. 4 other parties camped there and left about 2:30 am. We said screw that and gave them a head start to clear out of the gully. Cruddy weather got better overnight and by 3:30 am when the pre-dawn light started, we got up. Lots of damn mice in the snow at the camp and one loud ptarmigan.
Started up about 4:30 am. By the time we got to the pinnacle it cleared up and we did 3 snow pitches up the gully. Running belay up about half of it. Some mixed rock/ice but mostly snow. Glad I had brought stoppers, placed about 6 on the way up. It gradually steepened to maybe 50 degrees up top. At the top of the snow in the gully, we cut right and did one short rock pitch of maybe 5.0 for about 20-30 feet before the final short scramble to the summit. (The Class 3 rating of this must be for a late season climb. Ours was more like 4th/low 5th with moderate snow steepness up the gully to like 50 degrees.)
Were sitting there admiring the views wondering about the raps down with one rope when another party of 4 came up from doing the North Face. Asked if they wanted to combine ropes for a double rope rap and they obliged. Good guys. They descended via Hell's Highway. Got back to Portland at 2 am. Ugh! Was worth it though.
Climbed via Suphide Glacier in August 2001. Pretty easy climb all around and the summit pinnacle made things really fun. One of my favorite climbs in the cascades.