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Trip Report    

Mount Shuksan/Sulphide Glacier

Left Seattle at about 6 am, and picked up permits from Sedro Woolley. Coincidentally, you can self register for overnight permits, but they prefer it to be done in person after they open at 8am. Times listed in the guide are pretty accurate if slightly conservative. Turned out to be a hot day (over 80 F), but an earlier start keeps the trail up mostly in the shade till 5200 feet. Trail is in good shape up to the toe of the glacier.

Snow line started around 5400 feet and had good cover up to the glacier. Hot temps this week will probably melted out a significant amount of snow. Found a great campsite at 6100 feet with running water and solar toilet. Spot is set back from the ridge, but having running water and a toilet was worth it.

Route up glacier was straightforward, left hook up the west side of the glacier. Crevasses are starting to open up, but still plenty of open space. Left a little after 4:30 a.m. Snow was still soft, no crampons were required. At approximately, 7000 feet one party member began slowing and showing a change in their gait. After reviewing their knee, it was determined they needed to descend before the pain grew worse. A team of 3 (with a very experienced SIG leader) descended back to camp and a team of 5 continued to the summit pyramid. The team of 3 waiting at camp for the team of 5 to return. Based on the condition of the sore knee, the team of 3 continued down to the cars while the team of 5 packed up camp. All party members met back up approximately 5 minutes from the cars. (Doctors review indicates "Runners Knee", 3 weeks of rest and should return to normal).

Team of 5 reached the base of the summit pyramid and found the ascent gully partially filled with snow. There was a group of 12 climbers working their way up toward the ridge at an extremely slow pace (Several hours). Given the experience level of our group, wait time for the group to clear out and the overall conditions the team of 5 turned . This route is definitely doable, but at this point in time, it was most likely beyond the skill level of most basic climbers. However, given the temps and melting it should be cleared of snow soon.

Overall, the route condition is in great shape. Glacier is in good condition, great camping spots with toilet and running water. With some slight melting of the summit pyramid, this will be a great trip for basic students.

 

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