Washington’s highest peak truly lives up to its definition as one of the pinnacles of mountaineering glory. Standing 14,411 feet high, Rainier is the second-highest mountain in the lower 48.
Mt. Shuksan Summit Climbs
The Crown Jewel of the North Cascades! Mt. Shuksan is one of the most photographed peaks in the world, and for great reason; it is stunningly beautiful. Covered in glaciers, rock ridges, and deep forests, Shuksan is a true alpine paradise. Mount Shuksan offers a wide range of climbs from intermediate alpine test-pieces like Fisher Chimneys, to classic glaciated adventures like the Sulphide Glacier route. No route up this mountain is “easy”, as the summit pinnacle makes all whom want to stand on the summit earn the last 400′ by rock climbing.
Sulphide Glacier Route: Beginner/Intermediate Technical Grade II 4th class with glacier travel
If you want to take the next step after Kaf Adventures Intro to Mountaineering Course, and want to put your new skills to the test in a more serious alpine environment, Mt. Shuksan’ s Sulphide Glacier is waiting.
Rising 5,000′ from the surrounding terrain, the Sulphide Glacier is a long and committing climb and a serious undertaking. Heavily crevassed, and challenging glacier navigation make this a fantastic intermediate climb. With a rock climbing experience on the final summit pinnacle, Mt. Shuksan really is a well-rounded climbing experience.
Fisher Chimneys Route: Intermediate,Technical Grade III low 5th class with steep snow/glacier travel
This is one magical climbing experience. Travel through ancient deciduous forests, camp along a pristine alpine lake, and climb 3,000′ of 4th to low 5th class rock that exits directly onto a heavily crevassed glacier. If you want to put all of your skills to the test and learn an immense amount of knowledge about complex alpine travel, this climb will not disappoint.
While this climb will push you physically, Kaf Adventures will help you get there with as little risk as possible and will leave you feeling like you are a competent, integral member of the team.
Both routes require a pretrip meeting the day before your climb.
- 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Pre-trip meeting at our office. You will bring all personal gear and equipment to this meeting. We will go over the route and itinerary as well as go over personal and group gear to ensure everyone has what they need.
Sulphide Glacier Route
- Travel to the trailhead at the end of Road 11520, near Shannon Creek at Baker Lake. Hike in and set up camp at the base of the Sulphide glacier. We will end the day as early as possible to get rested for summit day.
- Summit day! We begin with a classic alpine start and breakfast, then an attempt at the summit. Weather, conditions, and team dynamics will determine outcomes and pace for the day, but the big goal is to get down safely. After our summit bid, we will pack up camp and head back to the cars.
Fisher Chimneys Route
Meet at the Kaf Adventures office early in the am for a caravan or carpool It is possible to camp closer to the mountain the evening before. Travel from to Seattle the Lake Anne for an evening contemplating the climb as it towers above. Some parties may decide to climb higher and camp on the Shuksan arm.
The climbing day. Approach from Lake Anne or the Shuksan arm. Climb through 4th class rock, several glaciers, and a summit rock pyramid.
Travel home after a great nights sleep from a long summit attempt. Plan to arrive in Seattle by 7pm.
All participants will be responsible for getting themselves to the pre-trip meeting. Kaf does not provide transportation for the outing; however, we recognize that transportation can be challenging. Once registered, Kaf will provide information regarding meeting times, locations, and any required parking permits. If interested in carpooling, we will orchestrate a meeting place between participants.
We recommend that anyone flying into Seattle arrive as early as possible on the day before the trip. We also recommend you do not book a return flight until late (red-eye) on the last day of the trip, or the following morning.
- 18+ for adult courses or 16+ with consent from a guardian and Kaf approval
Mountaineering: Beginner course is required prior to the climb of Shuksan.
- Snow and Glacier Camping
- Rope Management and Glacier Rigging
- Technical Rock Scrambling
- Navigation, Map, and Compass Usage
- Gear Packing and Equipment Choices
- Self-Arrest and Ice-Axe Technique, Crampon Usage
- Snow and Glacier Camping
- Professional instruction from full-time mountaineering instructors at a maximum of a 3:1 student-to-instructor ratio
- Passes and permits
- All group climbing gear
- All group camping and kitchen equipment
- Dinners and breakfasts while in the field
- Personal clothing, climbing, and personal camping gear
- Lunches, snacks, water carrying capacity
- Transportation is not included. Kaf will assist in organizing a carpool. See further details below.
You will receive a full packing list following registration, but please feel free to contact us with any gear or equipment specific questions you have. A brief list of what you will need to provide for yourself:
- Personal climbing gear: Multi-day pack, helmet, harness, mountaineering boots, glacier rig, ice tools, and crampons
- Personal camping gear: Sleeping bag and sleeping pad
- Weather-appropriate clothing
Transportation and times will be coordinated by email when the pre-trip announcement is sent to all registrants.
Consider joining us for any of our other Mountaineering Courses