PRICE

$895
Inquire for private climb rates

SCHEDULE

July 24 – July 26, 2020
August 14 – August 16, 2020
September 4 – September 6, 2020

DETAILS

Grade: Beginner
3 Day Climb

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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OVERVIEW

Mount Shuksan, nicknamed the “crown jewel of the North Cascades,” is one of the most beautiful mountains in North America. Our guided climbs lead through breathtaking views to the mountain’s spectacular summit pyramid. An ascent of Mount Shuksan is simply unforgettable.

Sulphide Glacier • 3 Day Ascent

We approach Mount Shuksan via the Shannon Ridge Trail through old-growth hemlock forests and alpine meadows scattered with wildflowers. Then we establish our high camp at the toe of the Sulphide Glacier in an amphitheatre surrounded by the jagged peaks of the North Cascades. The views from high camp are exceptional. In the evening we are likely to catch sight of mountain goats, and the morning light illuminates Mount Baker to the west. The standard climbing route ascends the Sulphide Glacier to the base of the summit pyramid. A 600-foot, Class 3 rock scramble takes us up the pyramid’s central gully to the summit at 9,127 feet. To descend, we rappel and downclimb back to the glacier, which gives our guides an excellent opportunity to teach rappelling technique and ropework. Throughout the expedition, our professional guides will teach you the skills you need for a safe and successful climb.

Sulphide Glacier Approach

  • Approach Time to Camp: 5-6 hours
  • Distance: 5 miles, 4,000 ft. gain
  • Trailhead: Shannon Ridge, 2500 ft.
  • High Camp: 6500 ft.
  • Camp to Summit: 4 hours, 2700 ft. gain
  • Trail synopsis: We hike the Shannon Ridge trail (an old logging road) northeast for 2 miles to its terminus at about 4,000 feet, then ascend switchbacks through old growth forest to a flat area on the ridge itself. We follow the ridge north for 1 mile until it flattens out at about 4,600 feet and enters North Cascades National Park. We then hike uphill to the crest of the pass and traverse steep sloping mountainside with large boulders to 5,400 feet. Our high camp is located another 1,000 feet higher at 6,500 feet, among permanent snowfields at the glacier’s edge.

Climb Highlights

  • A Northwest Alpine Guides adventure on a beautiful peak in the heart of North Cascades National Park.
  • Six hundred feet of alpine rock climbing up the spectacular summit pyramid of Mount Shuksan.
  • Small teams for a personalized experience. Many of our climbs are guided with a maximum of six climbers and two guides.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1 • Hike to High Camp
Day 2 • Summit Day
Day 3 • Hike to Trailhead

Qualifications

This ascent is an entry level summit climb and is suitable for climbers in excellent physical condition with no prior mountaineering experience. A full day of introductory skills training is included in the program. No extra acclimatization is necessary for this program. Read our Goals and Fitness page for recommendations on how to best physically prepare for this adventure.

3 to 1 Climber to Guide Ratio

We lead the Mount Shuksan Sulfide Glacier Route at a 3 to 1 climber to guide ratio ensuring that you receive personal attention and hands-on instruction throughout the climb.

Northwest Alpine Guides is an authorized outfitter guide service within North Cascades National Park

ITINERARY

Sulphide Glacier Itinerary

Plan to arrive the day before the climb begins.

Day 1 • Hike to High Camp • 6,500 feet

Meet at our Guide Hut in Sedro-Woolley, WA.

Northwest Alpine Guides will provide you with a detailed PreClimb departure book upon registration including a gear list specific to your trip, meeting location and driving directions.

Our alpine guides will meet you for team introductions, gear check, and group gear distribution. The drive to Shannon Ridge trailhead at 2,500 feet takes approximately one hour. The hike to high camp takes 4 to 5 hours. The team will set camp between 5,000 and 6,500 feet depending on the season.

In high camp, your guides will teach a one-hour climbing skills refresher session. Each team member will be assessed throughout the mountaineering school. You will need to demonstrate adequate fitness and proficiency in climbing skills as your safety is our priority.

We return to camp and prepare for our summit bid. The team enjoys dinner and goes to bed early for the next day’s climb.

Vertical gain hiking: 4,000 feet
Hiking time: 4 to 5 hours

Accommodations: Tented Camp

Day 2 • Summit Day via Sulphide Glacier • 9,127 feet

Our summit day begins early with a pre-dawn alpine start. From high camp, we ascend the moderate Sulphide Glacier to the base of the summit pyramid. We scramble 600 feet of third class rock to the summit. After enoying the summit views and celebrating our success, we rappel off the summit pyramid and descend to high camp.

Vertical gain climbing: 2,600 feet
Climbing time: 5 to 7 hours

Accommodations: Tented Camp

Day 3 • Hike to Trailhead

After enjoying breakfast, we break camp, pack our gear and retrace our hike back to the trailhead. We generally arrive back to the trailhead by early-afternoon and conclude our adventure in Sedro-Woolley.

Vertical descent hiking: 4,000 feet
Hiking time: 2 to 3 hours

Plan to depart the day after the climb ends.

Itinerary Notes
Northwest Alpine Guides makes every effort to uphold the scheduled itinerary, although our guides are given discretion to adapt the itinerary for reasons beyond our control or due to the needs of the group. Meal schedule: (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner

DETAILS

Where to Meet

At 8:00 a.m. on the morning of the climb, we meet in Sedro-Woolley, WA, for an equipment check and orientation before driving to the trailhead. We will email you detailed PreClimb information including a gear list and full departure details upon receiving your registration.

Deposit and Payments

  • $500.00 deposit includes a $250.00 non-refundable registration fee, due with application.
  • Balance due 90 days prior to start date.

Price Includes

  • Guided climb and instruction
  • Boiled water for meals
  • Professional mountain guide
  • Group equipment (including tents, ropes, stoves, etc.)
  • Wilderness Permits

Price Does Not Include

  • Transportation
  • Trailhead parking fees (Northwest Forest Pass)
  • Meals and snack food
  • Personal gear
  • Hotels or lodging
  • Trip cancellation insurance
  • Medical and evacuation coverage
  • Staff gratuities

Tipping

Our guides are dedicated mountain professionals who work hard to ensure your success and wellbeing on the mountain. If you have a positive experience, gratuities are an excellent way to show your appreciation. Tips normally average 10 – 20% of the cost of the program. If you prefer to transfer funds electronically, please send gratuities through paypal.me/mountaingurus

Summit Attempt

Northwest Alpine Guides cannot guarantee that you will reach the summit. Weather, route conditions, your own abilities, or the abilities of other climbers may create circumstances that make an ascent unsafe. You or your entire party may have to turn around without reaching the summit. Failure to reach the summit due to a team member’s own lack of fitness or to any of the events associated with mountaineering (such as weather, route, avalanche hazard, team dynamics, etc.), are not NWAG responsibility and will not result in refund or reschedule.

Date Changes

Date changes may be requested at any time up to 45 days prior to your departure date for a $150.00 fee per person. Date changes are subject to availability and apply only to the current climbing season. No date changes allowed less than 45 days before departure.

Age Guidelines

Participants age 16 & 17: May participate in fixed-date group itineraries if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Participants age 15 and younger: May only participate in private climbs and must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

All minor climbers must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian throughout the entirety of the program. If either the minor climber or the guardian needs to descend at any time during the program, both climbers must descend together.

Climber to Guide Ratio

We aspire to lead summit attempts on Mount Baker at a 3 to 1 climber to guide ratio. On occasion we lead climbs at a 4 to 1 climber to guide ratio due to operational needs.

Travel Insurance

We highly recommend that all participants consider travel and trip cancellation insurance. Travel insurance offers the best possible protection in the event of a sudden, unexpected illness or injury prior to or while traveling. Northwest Alpine Guides does not insure you against these risks. For more info about current coverage plans and quotes please visit.

Global Rescue

We recommend Signature Travel Insurance.
For travel insurance or Global Rescue membership.
Click here for a quote

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance

For travel, evacuation and rescue coverage.
Click here for a quote

TripAssure

We recommend Assure Adventure Plans to cover travelers participating in climbing, skiing, mountaineering and trekking programs. Click here for a quote Reference code: MOUN0700WA

Adventure Plan and Adventure Plus Plan differ only in the coverage option which allows you to Cancel for Any Reason. In order to receive Cancel for Any Reason coverage you must purchase the Adventure Plan Plus within 15 days of paying your deposit or payment with NWAG.

Cancellations

Since departures require a minimum number of participants, Northwest Alpine Guides must adhere to a stringent refund policy. The policy is intended to protect participants who have otherwise committed time and resources to the departure. Please read our Online Reservation for Terms and Conditions.

MEALS

You will need to provide all of your own meals during the Mount Shuksan 3-Day ClimbYou will need two (2) breakfasts, enough lunch and snack food for three (3) days, and two (2) dinners. Northwest Alpine Guides will provide the group with hot cooking water for breakfast and dinner. 

Meal Schedule

Day 1: Lunch & snacks for hike from trailhead to high camp, Dinner
Three or four 15-minute lunch & snack breaks during the hike to high camp. Dinner in high camp.

Day 2: Alpine Breakfast, Lunch & snacks for climb to summit, Dinner
Four 15-minute snack breaks on the ascent from high camp to summit, two or three 15-minute snack breaks on the descent from summit to high camp. Dinner in high camp.

Day 3: Breakfast. Snack and lunch food for the descent to trailhead

Mountain Lunches

We recommend that you bring a variety of snack food to eat while moving. On each day, we will encourage you to eat at regular, short maintenance breaks, roughly once every hour. These snacks can be critical for maintaining a steady supply of energy while moving up and down the mountain. We will not stop for a big lunch break.

Some examples of snack foods include dried meats (salami), jerky (turkey, beef, fish), tuna fish, cheese, crackers, bagels, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, candy bars, gummy candy, cookies, energy bars and trail mix.

We cannot overstate how critical it is for you to bring foods that you enjoy eating. Eating properly is the key to maintaining strength in the mountains. We recommend a selection of sweet, sour and salty food.

When preparing lunches, please do not bring food items that require cooking or extensive preparation.

Mountain Breakfasts and Dinners

Please prepare your meals prior to your climb. Suggested food items:

Alpine Breakfast: Instant oatmeal, Pop Tarts, dried fruit, granola bars, bagels, peanut butter, cream cheese.

Dinner: Freeze-dried dinners are easy to prepare but do not always taste good and may affect your stomach. Instant noodle soups and rice are also popular. You may also consider bringing a cold meal of dried meat, bread, pizza, or sandwiches.

Hot Drinks: Coffee, Caffeinated Tea, Herbal Tea, Cocoa, Cider

Cold drinking water will be available in high camp. Hot, boiled cooking water will be provided for your meal preparation, for example for freeze-dried dinners, instant soups, instant oatmeal and hot drinks.

When preparing meals, please do not bring food items that require extensive cooking or other preparation.

TRAVEL

Getting There

At 8:00 a.m. on the morning of the climb, we meet at the Guide Hut in Sedro-Woolley, WA for equipment check and orientation before heading to the trailhead. Upon receiving your registration, Northwest Alpine Guides will email you complete PreClimb information, including a gear list specific to your itinerary and other departure details.

The small town of Sedro-Woolley, “The Gateway to the North Cascades,” is approximately 70 miles and a 1.5-hour drive from Seattle or Bellevue. Limited services are available in Sedro-Woolley. More extensive food, shopping and lodging options may be found nearby in the cities of Mount Vernon and Burlington.

The Guide Hut / Northwest Alpine Guides
305 F And S Grade Road
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284

Click here for directions
Parking can be found across the street in the Park & Ride lot.

We sell a selection of basic mountaineering equipment in our Sedro-Woolley location. Following the gear check and orientation you will have an opportunity to stop at a market for other last-minute items.

The Guide Hut

On the day of your climb, you will meet your guides at the Guide Hut for group orientation and gear check. For participants on our 3-day and 5-day mountaineering courses, the Guide Hut opens on Thursday afternoons from 4-6 p.m. the day before the climb, and on Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. the day of the climb. For participants on other 2-day and 3-day climbing itineraries please refer to your PreClimb registration email for exact meeting times and location.

During open hours at the Guide Hut, you will have an opportunity to pick up pre-reserved rental items, try on boots, and purchase last-minute items prior to driving to the trailhead. The Guide Hut offers a selection of retail items such as outdoor clothing, glacier sunglasses, gloves, water bottles, cups, bowls, spoons, sunscreen, carabiners, climbing cord, waste kits, mole skin, batteries, freeze-dried foods, as well as NWAG logo wear. Visit the Guide Hut online store for available merchandise.

The Guide Hut serves Northwest Alpine Guides climbing customers only. It is not open to the public, and does not serve customers outside of scheduled operating hours.

Flight Travel

Most climbers will fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) the evening before the program and rent a car for the hour and forty-five minute drive to Sedro Woolley, Washington. Please note that Seattle traffic is worsening and driving times from Seattle and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport may be significantly longer.

Our Northwest programs begin at the date, time and meeting location listed in the itinerary in your PreClimb Information. Meeting locations may vary depending on program destination. Climbers flying to Washington State must arrive the day before their program begins in order the meet the group for an early morning gear check and orientation. Return times on the final day of the program are difficult to predict. We strongly recommend that climbers book a hotel night following the final day of their itinerary and schedule departure flights on the following day. If departing on the last day of the program, we recommend booking a flight later than 10 pm.

Transportation

Transportation between the meeting location and the trailhead is not included in the price of the trip. Guides are not responsible for providing transportation to team members. We serve both local and out-of-town climbers in our Northwest programs, and many of our guests prefer to use their own vehicles. Team members are free to organize rideshares with other team members. With your permission, our office staff can share your name and contact information with other team members so that you can organize ridesharing. The NWAG office does not coordinate ridesharing or carpooling and we are unable to share customer or guide contact information due to privacy concerns. In rare cases, Northwest Alpine Guides staff may provide limited transportation between the trailhead and Sedro-Woolley / Seattle / Bellevue as a fee service.

Trailhead Parking

You will need to obtain a NW Forest Pass or equivalent parking permit to leave your car at the trailhead lot. Single-use passes are $5.00 per day. They can be purchased in advance or the day of the gear check. A National Parks pass may suffice.

Driving Directions

From Seattle

Take I-5 North towards Burlington to Cook Road in Skagit County.
Take exit 232 from I-5 N

Turn right onto Cook Road, Head East to Sedro-Woolley
Follow Cook Road to Borseth Road in Sedro-Woolley, 7 min (4.3 mi)

At the traffic circle, take the 3rd exit and onto Borseth Road
Turn left onto F & S Grade Road

The NWAG Guide Hut is the first building on your left

From Bellingham

Take I-5 South towards Burlington to Cook Road in Skagit County.
Take exit 232 from I-5 S

Follow Cook Road to Borseth Road in Sedro-Woolley, 7 min (4.3 mi)
Turn left onto F & S Grade Road

The NWAG Guide Hut is the first building on your left

From Burlington

From State Highway 20 East, at the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit onto Cook Road (after the Walgreens)

Follow Cook Road to Borseth Road in Sedro-Woolley, 7 min (4.3 mi)
Turn left onto F&S Grade Road

The NWAG Guide Hut is the first building on your left

Hotels

Lodging in Burlington and Sedro-Woolley, Washington. For those who wish to lodge close to the meeting location the night before the climb, the following options are recommended.

Three Rivers Inn Hotel
210 Ball Street
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Burlington
9384 Old Hwy 99 North
Burlington, WA 98233

La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Burlington
1670 S Burlington Blvd
Burlington, WA 98233

There are many hotel choices in Seattle, Bellevue and Issaquah.

Red Lion Hotel Bellevue
11211 Main Street
Bellevue, WA 98004

Motel 6 Seattle East Issaquah
1885 15th Pl NW
Issaquah, WA 98027

Mountain Weather

For updated North Cascades weather forecasts, click here.