A view of Mt. Shuksan from Picture Lake. Mitchell Harter Mount Shuksan is one of the most beautiful mountains on the planet. The peak presents all of the most spectacular features that an alpine environment can offer - steep walls, hanging glaciers, heathered arms, and alpine tarns. Climbers from around the world look at this striking non-volcanic peak and say one thing, "I have to climb that!"
Mount Shuksan is one of the most photographed mountains in the world, and for a very good reason. The mountain is complex. Mount Shuksan is comprised of seven glaciers, four major faces and five dramatic ridges. Awe-inspiring icefalls and ice cliffs tower above open rock cliffbands, while blue-tinted glaciers snake down between each of the major ridgelines. This is an utterly spectacular mountain.
Sulphide Glacier Route
Ascending the summit pyramid, looking back at the Sulphide glacier. Joseph Anderson. The Sulphide Glacier offers an ascent within the grasp of most climbers, but this is no "tourist route." Different climbing problems must be overcome at different periods during the season, and there are always a variety of challenge on both rock and ice.
There are two options for this climb, a four-day and a three-day option. The first option is a four-day program with a rock climbing day at the beginning. After spending a day at the crag, those on this program will make the approach to the mountain on the second day. Those who have limited rock climbing experience should consider this option to polish their climbing skills before getting onto this spectacular mountain. The second option is a three-day program. In this program, students with previous rock climbing experience will approach the mountain on the first day. On this spectacular climb, our approach will take us to a beautiful camp at the foot of the glacier where we will review skills. On the second backcountry day, we will get up early and make our way up to the summit. The summit day on this particular mountain requires one to ascend a moderate glacier to stunning summit pyramid. Depending on the time of year, the summit may be ascended via a short steep snow couloir or by a low-fifth class rock scrambling. On the final day, we will make our way out to the trailhead. Though the mountain is imposing, beginner and intermediate climbers often climb the Sulphide Glacier route. On our skills day, we will review the basics of glacier travel and self-arrest, and introduce the skills of route finding and hazard evaluation. For those climbers who have previous glacier experience, we will use the skills time to review and advance the techniques that you employ in glacier climbing self-rescue. The Sulphide Glacier can be climbed on one of our group programs, or as a private ascent. Contact the AAI office for more information on private programming.