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wfinley

[TR] Mt. Shuksan & Mt. Baker - Sulphide Glacier & North Ridge 6/5/2016

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Trip: Mt. Shuksan & Mt. Baker - Sulphide Glacier & North Ridge

 

Date: 6/5/2016

 

Trip Report:

Wanted to post a thanks to all who have posted TRs for Shuksan and Baker in the past. We flew down on a whim and managed to climb two great routes with little planning other than googling trip reports while driving on I-5. Choice pix below - all my pix are here:

 

http://www.akmountain.com/index.cfm/2016/06/03/Mt-Shuksan-Sulphide-Glacier-and-Mt-Baker-North-Ridge

 

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There are toads in Washington. (woot!)

 

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Kind of scary to see something like this when you're coming into an area with zero knowledge of snowpack! Like good alpinist we ignored it & it never bothered us.

 

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The trade routes in Washington come with preset rap anchors! (woot!)

 

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Seattle traffic can be really bad at times.

 

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Only had to stay up till 10pm for a sunset pic. (woot!)

 

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It gets dark in Washington! Luckily I remembered my headlamp.

 

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At the ice cap I took the ramp climbers left that turned out to be a touchy snow bridge over a mean looking crevasse. I didn't fall in but I kicked a bunch of holes in it so my partner could fully appreciate the complexity of ice climbing on a glacier.

 

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Ice climbing in the sun is pretty awesome. Almost fun. (woot!)

 

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To make things really fun we climbed under those seracs at noon. They were dripping and groaning & I remembered my oath from 2015 that I would never again climb a route threatened by serac fall.

 

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We were going to go rock climbing in Leavenworth but we ended up drinking beers & eating sausages at some German restaurant and then killing a six pack at the campground. The next day we were so hungover we bailed off a 5.7 slab, drove to the airport and flew home.

 

 

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Oh, man those are some fantastic images! I will be sure to check out the full gallery.

 

That slope on Sherman fails huge in the spring every few years and runs way down the Boulder. I will let the guys at Western (who study these things) know that it went again. It is an awesome sight to behold.

 

From reading the full TR on your site (most excellent), sounds like you could have used one of these: http://www.patagonia.com/us/product/mens-tropic-comfort-hoody-ii?p=52123-0

Edited by JasonG

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what'd you find useful for rapping? Just one rap into the gully and boot down, or did you set up another? I've been up before, but hadn't rapped, and was curious what folks usually do... planning on taking a buddy out and would want to be equipped to rap if necessary...

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what'd you find useful for rapping? Just one rap into the gully and boot down, or did you set up another? I've been up before, but hadn't rapped, and was curious what folks usually do... planning on taking a buddy out and would want to be equipped to rap if necessary...

We rapped the whole thing. The snow was soft and the warming sun was sending a bunch of chunks down so we were glad to have the rope. We had a single 70 and a couple of the stations required a short unroped downclimb. With snow it was pretty straight forward (nothing for the rope to get caught on etc.) but I can see how it would be a pain if the gully was dry. Maybe just belay your buddy down?

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Here are a few of my pics. I've climbed a lot in the cascades and this was by far the hottest trip I've taken there.

 

For Shuksan we carried a light rock rack for the summit gully, and used it for 3 pitches of steep (45-70? deg) snow. The climbing was pretty easy but the snow conditions sucked. We talked to two parties that had failed to summit the day before. OTOH, in good conditions you may or may not need to rope up for the summit gully.

 

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For the NR of Baker, we belayed ~100meters of ice in 3 pitches. You could string some of it together and probably do it in two pitches but that would mean carrying more screws.

 

Billy (wfinley) coming up the first pitch:

 

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Billy following the third pitch, steep and roudy.

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Approaching the ice cap.

 

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Even with trashed bodies and a light hangover we were able to drag ourselves up R&D in the morning before our flight out.

 

 

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