Sept 10-11, 2011
On the last sunny weekend of this past short summer, I resisted my urge to go rock climbing (mostly due to a lack of climbing partners) and instead joined Tim and Greg on a classic mountaineering trip across the border. The plan for the weekend was to climb the photogenic Mount Shuksan via the Fisher Chimneys. The route involves a scenic hike to the base of the west face, some pleasant scrambling, glacier travel and even some low 5th rock up high.
After faffing at the ranger station to buy our parking pass and to register for a backcountry permit, we were off hiking towards Lake Ann by mid-morning. It was a good thing that we didn't wake up any earlier, as they aren't open until 8am. It took us about 3-4 hours of hiking to reach the base of the Fisher Chimneys, most of it through gorgeous meadows along the immaculate trail. This was a welcomed treat after bushwacking through the Chehalis on the previous weekend.
Tim scrambling near the top of the Fisher Chimneys. Despite climbing the wrong gully at the start, we ended up back on route with some pleasant scrambling on surprisingly good rock (mostly greenschist) where it's seen traffic. The name of the route is a bit of a misnomer, it's more of a gully, mostly 3rd class, with some 4th class.
Snow slogging with a view. The Baker ski area can be seen on the right side.
Evening light over Tim and Greg's bivy spot.
It was a really nice evening.
A glowing moon next to Mount Baker.
Fully refreshed after sleeping for ten hours (in addition to our afternoon nap), we left our bivy spot at 7am to climb up to the Sulphide Glacier.
The Sulphide Glacier is the standard route on the Shuksan. Greg has been that way twice previously and was happy to try a different route this time.
|Me and the North Cascades. Photo by Greg West.|
The Sulphide Glacier and a very hazy view of the North Cascades. I keep meaning to explore more of this area, but my map wall doesn't cover these rugged peaks.