Itinerary

Mount Shuksan Fisher Chimneys Climb Itinerary

FOR 2020-SUMMER 2021, AS PART OF COVID-19 REGULATIONS: Climbers will need to self drive until further notice. Further information will be sent upon sign up.

The Fisher Chimney Shuksan climb was outstanding. The pre climb rock review/class was super helpful and in a beautiful spot on Mt. Erie. The Shuksan route was exactly what I hoped with fantastic hiking, rock climbing, glacier travel, and camping. -2019 Climber

Day 1

We’ll meet at 6:30am at the Alpine Ascents Seattle office and start with a gear check. A thorough gear check ensures everyone is fully equipped and prepared for the course. Rental gear is fitted and packed at this time.

From the office, we will drive to Mt. Erie to learn the basics of rock climbing in a spectacular setting. The climbing areas on Mt. Erie overlook the Puget Sound, with panoramic views of the San Juan Islands, the Olympics, and several of the Cascade volcanoes. Students will learn belaying, rappelling, lowering, descending, rope management and climbing techniques. Plan to spend several hours practicing movement skills and working on technical skills that will be used on the summit pyramid of Mount Shuksan. In the evening we will set up camp at a campground near our approach trailhead.

Day 2

The group will pack up and ready themselves for the approach on the mountain. This hike is one of the most scenic in the Pacific Northwest with old growth forests, alpine meadows, and stunning views of Mount Baker. The trail terminates near Lake Ann, a popular destination, with majestic views of the calving Curtis Glacier. From the lake we start the climb up the Chimneys. This is 800 vertical feet of 3rd and 4th class scrambling and provides an unsuspecting passage to the upper mountain. After several hours in the Chimneys, we top out on the mellow White Salmon Glacier and pull out our crampons and ice axe in anticipation of climbing the notorious Winnies Slide: a 200-foot-tall steep snow & ice slope that leads to our bivy in the clouds. This camp is spectacular; perched on a rocky rib between the Upper Curtis and White Salmon Glaciers. In the evening, the group prepares for the summit bid.

Day 3

Depending on conditions, the team will leave camp between 5am and 8am for their summit bid. The technical challenges start directly above camp while ascending the moderate, but icy, slopes of the Upper Curtis Glacier. The route then weaves through massive crevasses towards a passage up towards the Sulphide Glacier. This steep slope, named Hell’s Highway, gives the climber another challenging steep snow pitch. After the steep snow is surmounted, the route mellows out for the next 1,000 feet before reaching the famous Summit Pyramid. There are two options to the summit. If conditions allow, we try to climb the SE Ridge, which is a fun and exposed ridge of 8-10 short alpine rock pitches. The Central Gully is a fine alternative if there is poor weather or the team is running behind schedule. The Central Gully will also act as our rappel descent route. This is a big day of alpine climbing that uses a variety of techniques from rock climbing to steep snow and ice. A typical roundtrip summit push is 8-10 hours from camp.

Day 4

We pack up camp and descend the steep sections of the White Salmon Glacier and the Fisher Chimneys. Often guides lower climbers down the steeper sections but much of the terrain requires careful yet efficient down climbing. Once at the base of the Chimneys, the technical challenges are over and it is a pleasant hike back to the trailhead.
Itinerary subject to change due to conditions.

The 3 Day Rainier course was amazing. I’ve no experience with “mountaineering expeditions.” I had a vague notion of what was involved. Thank you AAI for an amazing experience!!!!

ALPINE ASCENTS BLOG

  • Women’s-Specific Climbing Tips

    It’s Not Awkward, It’s Reality As adults, we’ve got our bathroom & “private part” habits down. We know how to keep ourselves comfortable, clean, and efficient. But what happens when we step into the backcountry for the day? For several nights? For a month-long expedition? For those heading into the backcountry with a female anatomy, […]

  • Gear Review: Fozzils Bowls

    By Mike Hawkins It has been a long day – one of the most demanding climbing days you have ever experienced. Your legs are wrecked. Your back is sore and you have small bruises on your hips from your hipbelt. You have sunscreen caked into every nook and cranny, but even that didn’t keep you […]

  • Gear Review: The North Face Phantom 50 pack

    By Mike Hawkins “Man, this is a really great pack…” I said it over and over for months until my wife had finally had enough of it. She had to get one for herself.  While 50 liters is a little small for most multi-day mountaineering and winter ski tours, the small size is plenty versatile […]

Partners & Accreditations

Alpine Ascents International is an authorized mountain guide service of Denali National Park and Preserve and Mount Rainier National Park.
© Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved. Alpine Ascents International