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jstluise

[TR] Mt. Shuksan - Sulphide Glacier 8/18/2013

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Trip: Mt. Shuksan - Sulphide Glacier

 

Date: 8/18/2013

 

Trip Report:

After some car-2-car suggestions from you guys here at CC (thanks!), the two of us decided to head up Shuksan. Planned on Saturday, but the weather forecast pegged Sunday as the better day so we postponed a day.

 

Left Seattle on Saturday and made it to the Shannon Ridge trail head at around 8p. Almost full parking lot. Partly cloudy, but soon turned clear with the moon bright in the sky. Organized some gear and were in the tent by the car at around 9p.

 

Woke up at 2:30a and took our time getting ready. Overcast now. After some hot breakfast and coffee, we were on the trail by 3:45a. Shortly into the approach, it began to sprinkle on us. Great. The already dewy vegetation made for a soggy approach to the notch. Visibility was also low. The approach from the car up to the notch was easy, with no problems following the route. We made good time, getting onto the glacier at about 6:00a. Filtered some water and strapped on the crampons.

 

Since the visibility was low, we relied on the GPS and following along the west side of the glacier. Wasn't too bad. A few crevasses but nothing we couldn't navigate. Still drizzly and a light wind. We went unroped the entire glacier.

 

We made it to the base of the Summit Pyramid at around 9:00a. It was finally getting light out and the rain was letting up. Still foggy, though a couple times the fog gave us a window to the snow-free gully and the scramble up the top. Two other parties were on their way up (roped), and one party was just getting back down.

 

We stashed our crampons and trekking poles and started the scramble. We put our harness on, just in case we needed them. Didn't anticipate it, though. Our route up the gully was basically just find the path of least resistance and avoiding being underneath the parties above. Didn't want to get in their way either. They stayed mostly to the climber's left, and we managed to stay to the right.

 

The scramble up the gully was a blast! Holds were plentiful and solid. Not a lot of exposure; I'd rate it a class 3 (some people maybe a low class 4). We hit the summit at 10:00a. Nothing to see up there, unfortunately.

 

After a quick bite, we made our way back down. We planned to rappel since we brought a rope. Why not? Started down-climbing and found it to be fast and easy, so we didn't stop at any of the rappel stations. The scramble down was just as fun as going up!

 

Back on the glacier, we made our way back down. A couple of breaks in the fog gave us a view of the glacier, so we could see a more direct line down. Still some navigating through.

 

We made it back to the car at 2:15p. 10hrs 30min car2car. Probably could have shaved an hour off if it wasn't for the low visibility and having to navigate the glacier. Still, I was happy with our time. Total mileage according to the GPS data was 15 miles round trip.

 

Even with the crappy weather and low visibility, we had a great time! We will definitely be back when we can actually get a look at the scenery!

 

Sorry, no pictures, but here is some GPS data:

 

Download .gpx data!

 

PGivyZGl.jpg

 

Bjn7MZil.jpg

 

eUWwnwil.jpg

 

Gear Notes:

We brought along a minimal glacier rack and a 30 meter glacier rope. Neither were used. The ice axes stayed on the packs all day, too.

 

-Crampons

-Helmet

-Trekking Poles

 

Approach Notes:

Soggy. But no route finding issues.

Edited by jstluise

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