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Garvin

Mount Shuksan - Price Glacier

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I would like some information on the Price Glacier on Mt Shuksan. I am from Wyoming and would like to climb the route this summer. I have read Beckyey's description and the one in 50 Crowded Climbs and was wondering if global warming has changed the route much since these old description? When is the best time of year to do the route?

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I have not climbed this route, but I book I picked up in B.C. this fall (Alpine Select byKevin McLane) says:"This famous climb has suffered from glacial retreat in recent decades, so is less often in good [fast]condition...it is most commonly in its best condition before late July." In the photo from this book, dated Sept. 1998, "exceptionally dry conditions," it looks like a real mess to get through.

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I did the route in May of 1991. Believe it or not we carried skis and once on the ridge above price lake used them to approach all the way around to the base of Nooksak Tower where we stashed our skis. There was more snow than the photo on page 120 in 50 Classic climbs. In fact my partner never put his crampons on. I didn't approve of this because if he fell in a crevasse, he would have had serious problems. We took a variation and climbed the "Puruvian flukes" on the high wall left of the final pitches of the normal route. We had no problems crossing the schrund. From there across Crystal Glacier and up to the summit was a slog fest in deep, wet snow. It was a hot day and we actually descended the normal route too. I was very nervous but never witnessed any major slides or calves. In retrospect, I think we were extremely lucky. If I knew what I know now, I'd say we were pushing our luck. The ski down was fun though!

PS: Once again, notice the month of the first ascent....September. That made it a real ice climb!! My point being that ice cliff, price, and others make great alpine ice routes in the fall!

[ 01-28-2002: Message edited by: David Parker ]

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I was up there in late June last summer, up there being only the parking lot. The road was blocked miles before the head and it was pouring rain. We instead drove around and tried Baker again, shitty weather, another story. From what I know the weather is really tempermental and it seems early June is too early, but with the snowfall we are getting this year, one never knows. I hope to get up there this summer too, add it to my growing list of climbs/rides/kayak trips. So thanks David and Norman for your info cus itll help me as well. Good luck this summer Garvin.

Hey, just cus im too lazy to run downstairs and look myself right now, what year was 50 Crowded published?

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I havn't climbed the price glacier but have been back there a few times on routes next to it. It seems like the best time (depending on how much snow we get in the winter) is from the 2nd week of July to 1st of August. It might be a good idea to get off the thing early because it gets sun early and most of the day. We witnessed a avalanche that thundered across the entire face all the way into Price lake around 2 PM. A party we spotted on the route had just topped onto the shoulder about 45 minutes prior none the wiser.

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Rookie of the year- 50 Classic Climbs was first published in 1979. Thanks for the imput all of you . I had been thinking of an early fall climb with a very early start from as high a camp as possible. A long ice climb is what we had in mind. David, So you descended the standard Price Glacier route back to your skis. Do you think that it would be possible to do that in fall condiditions or should we plan on carying our gear over the top and come down some other route. And if so which route is best.

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