Mount Shuksan- Mountain Profile – Jewell of the North Cascades National Park

At 9131ft, Mount Shuksan is the fifth highest non-volcanic peak in the state of Washington. It is one my favorite climbs in the North Cascades National Park because it possesses great qualities like commanding position, as well as combining all the essential elements of classic alpine climbing: glacier travel and rock climbing. Even though you might not recognize the peak at first, chances are, you’ve seen on a bank calendar at some point or another. It is one of the most photographed peaks in the US.

After about a 5 mile trail approach one arrives at a small saddle above Lake Ann. Here is the first really spectacular view of the mountain. The Curtis Glacier spills off the cliffs and the upper mountain is guarded by rock walls. Below Stephen Perry from Minnesota takes a break while soaking in the view.

One of the coolest things about leaving the trail is the rock climbing required to get to the high camp. Below Stephen cranks some easy 5th class rock on the way up the Fisher Chimneys. How many climbs require rock climbing just to get to camp?

Perched right below Winnie’s Slide, we have a fantastic camp with a great view of Mt Baker.

In the morning there is some moderate glacier travel as the fog breaks.

And yet another transition back to rock! Below is Stephen enjoy some steep rock on the summit pyramid of Mt Shuksan. We took the SE Ridge variation which is clean and only slightly more difficult than the standard route.

Rock climbing high above the Sulphide Glacier. Now this is the real thing!

Stephen and I enjoying picture perfect weather on the summit with Mt Baker in the background.

August and early September are a great time to climb in the North Cascades National Park. Come let us show you the hidden gems in this little known national park.


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