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first ascent [TR] Mt Shuksan - No-Fo-O-Fo Ridge 07/14/2018

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Trip: Mt Shuksan - No-Fo-O-Fo Ridge

Trip Date: 07/14/2018

Trip Report:


Ok maybe the name's just a personal joke.  Call it the complete southeast spur of the mountain.  

With a day off and the desire to wander around in some alpine ambiance I was extremely fortunate to cross paths with Chris Martin (Cfire) who was amiable to my somewhat weird idea of climbing the entirety of the ridgeline separating the Sulphide and Crystal Glaciers.   The finish of this feature is the frequently climbed southeast ridge of the summit pyramid.

Access was a harrowing traverse underneath the terminus of the Sulphide Glacier.   Seracs, debris piles, rushing water and thin fields of snow over downsloping slabs.   We ran and Chris still managed to take a sizeable block of fortunately slow moving ice to the thigh.

The ridge itself was a lot of fun.   Generally good rock along some choss.  Lots of 3rd and 4th class along with a stretch of very exposed 5th up an intimidating tower.  Some down climbing, a rappel and a particularly incredible “a cheval” section.  Of course the views down into the chaotic bases of the Crystal and Sulphide Glaciers were the highlight of the day, creaking, groaning with the occasional collapse both seen and unseen.

Recommended for the incredible position as well as some pretty nice climbing on the lower and upper sections of the ridge.








Looking down the crux pitch.


Another view of the same with Sulphide Glacier in background.



The amazing a cheval stretch.  Photo doesn’t do it justice.



Top of the second part.




III 5.6

Start just right of the toe.  Solid 4th class rock and a short bit of 5.0 choss is followed by a transition to grey shist(?) below a steep tower.  Traverse to the base then follow a ramp back up left to the skyline, a short blocky bit leads to a decent belay ledge below the slabby headwall.  Start on the left then traverse right (5.6?) to a hand crack then easier terrain.  From the summit of the tower traverse an amazing a cheval section then downclimb a steep, featured 4th class slab to a notch by snow.  Continue scrambling up the ridge line until a 40’ rappel drops onto the Crystal Glacier.

Bypass a small nunataq then climb the second stretch of the ridge by its left skyline. Looks chossy but turns out to be reasonably nice 3rd class rock. From the tip of this feature a steep downclimb on snow leads to the broad bench below the summit pyramid.   Follow the excellent SE ridge to the summit.

Gear Notes:
Small rack to 2”. A doubled up skinny 60m rope was adequate.

Approach Notes:
Traverse below Glacier will be slow and (more) dangerous once snow melts off rock slabs. Go early summer most years.

Edited by dberdinka
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It was a great(long) day up there with Darin. The climbing was very enjoyable and would recommend it, but the run under the ice fall was full on alpine gauntlet.






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Yeah boyz!!  Very sorry that I couldn't have run the gauntlet with you....but glad that it all worked out!

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Cool! Traverse sounds pretty hairy; is there an less threatened way to access the climb?

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Great looking stuff guys! Amazing how new routes can still be had on such a popular peak. Embrace the Choss dogs, become a millionaire.





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