Mount Shuksan Sulphide Glacier Climb - North Cascades
Standing 9,131 feet tall, Mt Shuksan’s rugged metamorphic walls and spectacular hanging glaciers have made it one of the most photographed peaks in the world. Our three day climb of Mt. Shuksan offers climbers a challenging and breathtaking experience, with expansive views over North Cascades National Park and Mt. Baker.
Our professional guides will help you navigate the Sulphide Glacier route, complete with massive crevasses, moderate snow and ice slopes, and a 700ft. section of rock scrambling. Once at base camp we will coach you on the skills necessary for safe glacier travel, including ice axe arrest, use of crampons, climbing knots to attach to the rope, and rockfall hazard assessment
Previous backpacking and mountaineering experience required. Additionally, previous scrambling and rappelling experience required for a 3-day climb of Mount Shuksan. If you do not have this experience we can add a prep day for climb. Following the Mt. Shuksan climb, you will have the skills necessary to attempt more challenging routes in the Cascades, such as the West Ridge of Forbidden Peak or the North Ridge of Mt. Baker.
Skills Covered During the Mt. Shuksan Climb:
- Selection of personal gear and packing for a glacier climb
- Ice axe positioning and self-arrest techniques
- Walking on steep snow slopes with and without crampons
- Climbing knots
- Glacier travel skills
- Navigation and route finding
- Hazard assessment
- Cold weather camping skills
- Leave No Trace
Duration3 Days, 2 nights camping
PassportNot Required for Americans
Minimum Age13 years old
ActivityBackpacking, mountaineering and general outdoor safety skills
Please note: Gear checks are required and available the day before your trip start date. They are available weekly at Ascent Outdoors in Ballard from 6:30pm-8pm on Thursdays. If your trip does not start on a Friday we will schedule a custom gear check at Ascent Outdoors the day before your trip start date.
- Stoves/Cook Kits
- Group climbing equipment
- Guide services
- Pre-trip planning information
- Backpacking, mountaineering, and general outdoor safety skills
- Wilderness permits
- Discounted gear purchases and rentals
- Personal climbing equipment and clothing
- Travel and evacuation insurance
- Gratuities for guides
Please note: This is a tentative itinerary. The actual trip schedule may change due to weather, unsafe route conditions, or for other reasons beyond our control.
- Meet at a convenient Park & Ride in the Seattle Area. Set up carpools.
- Drive from Seattle to the trailhead (2,500 feet). Approximate driving time is 3 hours.
- Listen to a briefing at the trailhead.
- Hike to base camp (5,400 feet) taking breaks to eat, hydrate, enjoy views, and take pictures. Approximate hiking time 5-6 hours.
- Set up camp with the help of your guides.
- Begin lessons about snow walking and basic ice axe skills.
- Review snow walking, ice axe skills, and crampon use
- Learn the ropes: knots, rope management, rope team travel, anchors
- Basics of glacier travel: attaching to a rope, team movement around crevasse hazards, and rockfall hazard and management
- Skills practice time
- Set up rope teams. Pack summit packs for the Mt. Shuksan summit attempt.
- The summit day begins early with an alpine start. Usually we wake-up around 2 am, depending on conditions and the fitness of our team.
- Rope up and start climbing by 3 am.
- Depending on route conditions and group fitness we usually summit between 7 and 9 AM
- Return to base camp. Pack up, head down, and celebrate a great Mount Shuksan climb.
I was part of the group that summited Mt. Rainier on 7/20/15 led by Miyar Adventures and its guides. I had a great experience training and finally climbing with Miyar and Sandeep Nain. Miyar Adventures has an experienced team of guides with most guides being a part of some or the other mountain rescue group (as an added perk, you can just sit and listen to these guys tell stories). I felt that all the guides shared common mountaineering principles which is very important in case of a mishap. Sandeep and his team believe that "getting to the summit is optional, but getting back to the parking lot is mandatory" - safety first, mountain is not going anywhere. Another thing that I particularly liked about the guides was they set strict timelines and also inspired discipline in us to adhere to those timelines. As pre-climb training, we did a lot of hikes around the area and also climbed Mt. Ruth. Sandeep would try and accompany us on our training hikes as much as he could and answered any dumb and dumber questions that we had with patience and precision. You always learn something new when you talk mountaineering with Sandeep Nain. The Mt. Ruth climb was a very good precursor to Mt. Rainier in terms of learning and practicing the basics of snow and glacier travel. Both the Mt. Rainier and Mt. Ruth training climbs were very meticulously planned. The gear distribution was done well before the actual climb so that any changes were easily accommodated. Sandeep and Ben gave us a detailed briefing about the itinerary and risks before the climb and were available to clear any doubts during and after the session. The guides Sandeep Nain teaches you, inspires you, and pushes you to your limits and lets you redefine them, I highly recommend giving Miyar Adventures a try for your next backpacking/mountaineering/climbing adventure. You will thank me!!
Had the chance to attempt a Shuksan climb last week with Sandeep and bunch of other folks. Despite the bad weather, I had a lot of fun and learned a bit. Sandeep and his other guide (Kirk) were really professional. Both of them were super helpful all along the trip. They were continuously guiding folks who needed guidance, especially me. I would highly recommend them and I hope to climb again with them soon.