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sverdina

Shuksan N. face?

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Any current route information at this late point in the day would be greatly appreciated. Recommend return via White Salmon or FC's? Bike back down from artist point??

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Just heard from Red Monk yesterday they got avied off the route. Might want to wait for cooler weather. Most parties decend the White Salmon

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Avi, shmavi. Go for it. Colin, Dan and I didn't start until 9:00 a.m. from the bivi last July when the clouds started to part, and we were still at Atist Point by 7:00 p.m. We took Fisher Chimneys down. We were lucky to get a ride to the car, though. Maybe stash a bike.

 

Have fun,

 

John Sharp

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I don't know how you can compare last year's avi conditions to this year's avi conditions. Apples and oranges. Chances are if the conditions experienced two days ago was heavy avalanches and that caused a party to turn back, then the conditions today will be pretty similar. Climb conservatively.

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You'd better watch it or i'll bribe one of those gangsters from my neighborhood with a 22 of mickeys and have him kick your ass!

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you really should go for it. start early and flash it before 9am and youl be fine. i was up there two weeks ago and conditions were perfect, an early start will help, we started by three and were off the face by 7;30. there is always rock and ice fall danger in the summer. go for it! it is beautiful! [smile]

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quote:

Originally posted by Highlander:

they got avied off the route.

Might want to wait for cooler weather.

Avied? Not quite!

Icefall and rockfall were present.

Our job on the North Face was to film the route and the objective hazards.

The weather was warm, the snow was soft, and stopping frequently to film in those conditions were an uneccesary risk.

 

Cooler weather would have been really nice, or perhaps some shade, but the sun shines directly on the face the moment it rises.

 

Seems like a great route, and I was not happy about turning around after bushwacking through the night, and beginning the route.

 

Will try again soon!

 

Avy conditions on the slopes were not present!

 

oo9

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OK .. just returned from the N. Face of Shuksan. Bushwacking was soooooooo fun. We got to basecamp on Saturday night and skies were clear. Clouds were beginning to spill over Shuksan arm in an ominous omen of bad luck .. an omen we've seen twice before on Shuksan (once on Fisher Chimneys, once on Sulphide Glacier). Sunday morning began in a complete whiteout. We decided to push up the face in spite of the whiteout and got to about 6300' (200' below the face proper). Visibility was at 20' and we couldn't see the route. My partner and I [hesitantly] decided to call it off and bushwack back to the car. The bushwack back to the car was FAR better than the bushwack on the way in. We gained about 1600' from the basin to a point just below Shuksan arm (we maxed out at 4750'). We then donned our crampons and downclimbed up to 70 degree [wet] heather back to the chairlift. I highly recommend ascending from the Mt. Baker Ski Lodge to just below Shuksan Arm (4750') and then doing a descending traverse towards the basin that brings you up towards the N. Face. A snow finger allows you to bypass almost all of the heavy brush. Once in the basin, stay to the right of the main water course and find a weak climbers trail through heavy slide alder. It sure beats the devils clubs we encountered on the way in! The N. Face is in PRIME condition right now. There is absolutely NO avi danger, however there is slight rockfall. Use commmon sense and move fast in sections where rockfall is evident and you will be just fine. Had it not been for the whiteout conditions, we would most certainly have summitted today. The moral of the story is : wait until the weather forecast shows four pulsating golden globes. Otherwise, you'll get pissed on. Isn't that right sverdina?

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quote:

Originally posted by sverdina:

Is there such a thing as a worse bushwhack than getting to the N. face? What a freakin' nightmare!

Consider it a character builder, and it makes other bushwacks feel like a country club.

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quote:

Originally posted by sverdina:

Is there such a thing as a worse bushwhack than getting to the N. face? What a freakin' nightmare!

Yes. Seek and ye shall find.

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Well, shit man...everyone says to "stay high" when traversing along Shuksan arm. How high?

Going in, we generally followed Jim Nelson's description, that is, take the road from lodge to clearcut & proceed until you reach forest. There was a faint trail up to this point, but beyond that things just got nasty. Difficult creek crossings forced us to alternatively lose or gain elevation...we burned hours struggling though this bit. Finally we reached the snow in the basin but still had to endure yet another unavoidable bushwhack section. We tried to avoid the second of the two bushwhacks on the return by taking a series of parallel snow fingers/creeks up high on Shuksan arm. We ended up about 1000ft above a ski run & hiked back down a ridge between canyons & cliffy terrain into what I think is the lower boundary of the popular backcountry ski area there (Hemispheres?). We crossed a creek bed, hiked briefly back up the other side & ended up underneath the chairlift. If it wasn't for the rain greasing down the steep heather, this approach variation seems reasonable, but with much elevation gain & loss.

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I think there needs to be sufficient snow pack for the approach you describe - then it's an easy traverse straight across, between 3800 and 3400ft. The "bench" you follow is obvious on the topo map.

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Ok...will revisit earlier in the season next time. I don't see how anyone would put up with the approach as it is right now.

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With as little snow as there is now, I challenge anyone to find a quick way through that crap. It's all brush. You're either bushwacking, or you're bushwacking. Slide alder, devil's clubs, wild rose (not the kind you see in Pioneer Square), and other nasty shit. I could see about 3 weeks ago, it would have been a completely different ballgame. But right now, there is no snow until you get into the basin under the hanging glacier. And I've seen brush before, so I have something to compare this to. I bushwacked all the way up from Thunder Basin to the summit of Primus Peak (7600'+ of elevation gain) -- some of the worst brush I've encountered anywhere in the Cascades. And the Shuksan N. Face approach compares with that (although not in duration). At any rate, it's Fisher Chimneys for me in August. I have to knock this sucker off the list.

 

All those who say the brushwack into the N. Face of Shuksan is easy didn't see the same conditions we saw on Saturday. I guarantee it.

 

[ 07-30-2002, 09:40 PM: Message edited by: MountainMan ]

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