Trip Report    

Mount Shuksan/North Face

A climb that we're happy to have done.

  • Mon, Jun 6, 2016 — Sun, Jun 5, 2016
  • Mount Shuksan/North Face
  • Climbing
  • Successful
  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The approach is rugged. Recommend going when there is snow covering the slide alder and devil's club.

Our party of three parked outside of gate to the White Salmon ski lodge and headed out at 2:30 p.m. After 5-1/2 hours of bushwhacking and difficult stream crossings we arrived at nice camping spot on some dry rock below the White Salmon glacier. We took photos of the White Salmon glacier, which proved to be valuable in planning our descent route.

 We set off the next morning at 2:30 a.m. and roped up at the base of the North Face at 4:30 a.m. The climb was largely straightforward, with one crevasse that we were able to cross on a small snow bridge. We placed one picket and only a single ice axe was needed.  We reached the broad col at the top of the North Face at 8:00 a.m. We traversed around to the south and climbed the summit pyramid through the standard gully. There were many other parties on the summit, including a group of Mountaineers who came up the Sulphide glacier.

We returned to camp by descending the Sulphide, Upper Curtis, and the White Salmon glaciers. It's been said that climbing the North Face is really a circumnavigation of Mt Shuksan and the traverse of five of its glaciers. The day was sunny and warm which resulted in great views in every direction but softened the snow to the point where snow buildup under the crampons became a problem. We reached camp at 2:30 p.m. and were back at the car by 9:30 p.m.