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.
We climbed the chimneys in the fog on an unusually warm morning, and then topped out of the clouds on the Upper Curtis Glacier. Hell's Highway was not crevassed at all. Summited at 9 am. Very soft snow conditions kept us from self arresting during an extended slide down Hell's Highway. After that experience we decided to rappel down Winnie's slide. Beautiful, impressive mountain especially the walk across the Upper Curtis.
Great day trip, spent two hours on the summit drinking espresso.
Sulphide in mid Summer and good weather is a fun climbing objective and a real teddy bear.
Route through glacier was obvious, had no/very, very little danger of crevasse fall. Snow was perfect for crampons and never very steep..... max angle 30?
We scrambled up the SE ridge rather than doing the "standard" South central 3rd/4th class gully finish.
The ridge rocked! Solid rock versus Cascades choss, mostly 3rd/4th with a few short low 5th moves. We simul-climbed on a running belay with a few horns slung as pro, belayed one 5.6 move that had a great anchor above.
Downclimbed the gully versus multiple raps.
Can certainly understand how the gully in earlier season conditions.... wet, mixed snow, ice & rock would be a challenge. But, if you are looking for a relaxing climb with less stress and beautiful views, early August on Shuksan certainly fit that description for us.
4 hours to camp at 6000'. 4 hours to summit. 2.5 hours back to camp. 3 hours back to car.
Great climb, nice mix of moderate rock and glacier. What a beautiful mountain.
here's a great all-round mountaineering route. route finding challenges, root pulling on cascade choss, glacier travel, steep snow and a summit pyramid scramble to die for.
Approach is a bitch, much agreement on that. My advice is to camp JUST below the National Park boundry. Dont carry all your crap up to the high camp area on the glacier. Its a waste of time AND energy and only saves you about an hour to hour and a half on the climb day. Camp lower, save your energy and you get off to a faster start.
Gully is more 4th class than 3rd. Carry your rope, you may need to rap., esp if theres just two of you. May be faster.
Prepare for amazing Northern Cascade view and dont spare the film.
The approach trail was a pain, but once we reached the Sulphide Glacier, moods changed. This is a fantastic Mt from any angle. The summit block scramble was fun. The view over to Baker is just another bonus. The summit block was busy the day we were there.
Perfect weather. Beautiful steep snow. Advice to live by: Wear sunscreen, lots of it.
The approach/departing bushwack was difficult. Any advice on the best approach route would be welcomed.
To examine the glory of the Creator in such an intimate manner eliminates any notion of conquering the mountain. You merely survive it.
We set out around 2:00 am passing two large and one small group enroute to the summit pyramid. Setting the route up was a challenge, as the pyramid was still covered in snow and ice. We used running belays and on the steep, icier sections, and set ancors to belay each other on the upper ice section. Spending a few seconds on the summit we decided to head down as there was about 30 others on their way up,.
Fun climb, easy in good weather the day we were there.
Summited via the Sulphide. We made our high camp in a whiteout and were ready to throw the towel in when a 24 hour period of crystal blue skies arrived. Spectacular views of the Sulphide and Crystal Glacier icefalls. As we descended lenticulars were already brewing on the summit pyramid of Shuksan and nearby Mount Baker. We also had great views of Rainier 130 miles away and Mount Garibaldi in British Columbia. Great climb.