Trip: Shuksan - Price Glacier via NE Chute+NE Rib linkup   Date: 8/3/2011   Trip Report: Zloi54 and I climbed one of the 50 classics of NA list – the scary Price glacier on Shuksan - over 08/01 – 08/04/11. After my arrival from PDX on Sat 07/30, we arranged for a car shuttle between Nooksack Cirque TH and Bagley lakes picnic area. Hwy 542 was then blocked by snow and gated to Austin Pass, but is reopened now.   A 30% chance of showers predicted for our Sunday’s approach turned out to be 100% full on rain and meant open biving in the ditch for two nights at Nooksack cirque TH while waiting for the weather to clear.   Day 1. Approach to the Nooksack Tower.   Nooksack Cirque TH (2200’):   Two whitewater crossings of Ruth Creek right off the TH are currently in the brand new “fir tree” state:     After about 3 miles on the Nooksack Cirque trail, we took the climbers trail down (just past Wilderness boundary sign) to the Nooksack river. Getting to the old log crossing along the riverbank sucked - due to high water level this year I guess, but traversing 20’ above it made the trick.     Nooksack River crossing (another classic by itself) is still solid and welcomes visitors:     Sticking with the faint trail in the alder (about 50 m to the left of Price Creek) on the other side of Nooksack river was not that bad and brought us to the open moraine above Price lake.   Price Lake down below:     North side of Shukshistani represents:     “Open moraine” quickly turned into snow moraine as we continued towards the glacier:     Some beta advised NOT to head up to Price gl before the cirque seriously cliffs out. Probably being retarded, this is what we ended up doing: we headed up way early through the steep moat-mined snow, and then climbed nearly vertical muddy rock with tools and hauling packs. Getting to Price glacier somehow came at high price of wasted energy and time.   The cirque below from the approach:   Approaching Nooksack Tower on Price gl:       Getting to the Nooksack Tower bivy sites took some imagination for crossing the crevasses below. The approximate line, looks easier than it was in reality:     Camping out by the Nooksack Tower (6600’):   Sunset and dreams about Canada:         Day 2. Upper Price glacier.   We started at the base of Nooksack tower at sunrise, sprinted through the sketchy ice chute being constantly fed by the material from the looming above ice cliff, and then squeezed through a couple of fragile chimneys before hitting safer ground somewhere in the middle of Price gl:   At this point, routefinding choices had to be made and while trying to compromise between the contradictory beta “to stay on the left” vs “to stay on the right” of the gl, we went up in the center (red line):     The ice was good, took screws well and we could not see any major obstructions ahead. Yet.   Z coming up first ice pitch:   More ice above:   Z coming up on the traverse:     I then led an 80 deg snow dome and hit a dead end in the maze of overhanging ice walls and our further progress had significantly slowed down. After trying a few options, we rapped down in the underground and begun traversing east (left) through the system of corridors and chimneys, most of which we soloed. The plan was to somehow get on the above snowfields to approach the rock band by the main shrund from the left where things were least broken up.   Rapping down off ice features:     In the crevasse chimneys:     Contemplating the overhangs:       By 7 pm we run out of options and pitched in the tent in between the ice walls with the haunted Nooksack Tower watching us for the second night in a row. I am not sure how often people do that, well we had no other choice:   Another sunset by Nooksack Tower:     Day 3. Upper Price gl., NE chute and NE Rib.   For the lack of options on the east side of Price gl, we retraced our steps through the chimneys in the seracs, downclimbed and rapped down to the point where we could get to its west (right) side framed by a vertical serac wall and steeper snice slopes.   Z heading up the right side of Price:   West side of Price:   Finally we got to the main shrund on Price, passing through which would have taken multiple overhanging raps as was later confirmed from my vantage point in the NE chute.   The green line to the main shrund and traverse to the NE chute:   We made a good call on the safest option of all: the NE chute with its scary entrance made of delicate soft ice flutings over 100 feet deep cracks and its monstrous ice roof right above our heads ready to collapse at any moment.   The entrance to the NE chute:   Typical terrain:   Z coming up on the traverse to the center of the NE chute:     Z heading up the easy snow above the second shrund in the NE chute:     Z climbing up to the NE shoulder to find a bypass to the Crystal glacier – a “no go” in the current conditions:     After he downclimbed the snow, I traversed and went up the NE Rib made of good and bad rock.   Z traversing to the NE rib:   Amazing views of Price lake down below:     Solid alpine rock above on P2 - highly recommended:     Z starting up on the P3 of the NE rib finish:   After we had finally crawled across one of the endless knife edge snow ridges, we found no summit pyramid to our delight, but another corniced ridge which I think is a part of the Hanging glacier.   So, we camp again. By the Hanging glacier snow ridge this time. And we run out of food.       Day 4. Summit Pyramid and Fisher Chimneys descent.   Next morning we climbed up and over the Hanging glacier cornice and thank god landed on the easy slopes of the North face top out. Just about time.   The Summit pyramid from the north is looking mighty:   While traversing across the Crystal gl and up the summit pyramid, we spotted the chopper making its way towards us. It turned out the authorities were concerned that we are 3 days overdue (including one extra day we bivied at the Nooksack cirque TH waiting on weather) but provided us with so needed food for our descent! What a treat!   Baker from the summit pyramid:     Hells highway was in the straightforward shape as was the lower crossing to Winnie’s slide.   We took the skiers right variation of the Fisher Chimneys. After two raps over snow covered rock, we downclimbed 50 deg snow with a tool (no crampons were needed), and then merged with the left FC variation and downclimbed the rest on more often than not dry rock all way down to the moat.   Traversing the snow covered boulder fields was OK, but getting through the moat on the last rap off the tree took more time than expected. There are a couple of options here: either shorter 10’ overhanging steps to get on the snow slope or a 20’ vertical section, both requiring crampons and a good tool.   The descent to lake Ann was under snow, and will probably be for another month. We took the shortcut through the snow-covered slopes rather than sticking to the trail in the trees.       Gear Notes: 5 screws, 3 pickets, rock pro to 1 inch, KBs could have been helpful, and were brought but not used because I am lazy.   Approach Notes: Nooksack Cirque to Lake Ann carryover