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.

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Sky Ridge- A Route Profile of a Classic

People often ask us what are favorite routes are. For me, there are several qualities that make a route special to climb. First and foremost, it has to have good position. Second, the climbing has to be fun. And third, a minimum of hanging belays!

Sky Ridge meets all of the above requirements, but it really appeals to folks who want a great, exposed position. Depending on how you climb it, it is 3-4 pitches and some scrambling to get to the top. If you can climb 5.8 face, and 5.7 cracks, this route is a must do.

The first pitch, pictured below, climbs directly up a rib of rock no wider than a sidewalk, straight from Asterisk Pass. Easy, but exposed, this pitch is just a primer for what is to come.

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News From the Hood!

We’ve been having a great season here up on Mount Hood.  Despite some days with an ominous forecast we’ve still had tons of successful climbs with sweeping views from Mount Rainier to the North and the Three Sisters to the South.  We’re still enjoying the record snowfall year we had in the Oregon Cascades with tremendous summer ski mountaineering. For some reason it’s really hard to get tired of skiing when the snow is this good!  Right now we’re seeing great conditions with cold weather and firm snow. All the main variations on the southside are in great shape, although somewhat steeper.

Climbing the Wy’East with some great alpineglow.
Johnnymtguide.com and his crew on the summit.
Enjoying great snow high above the clouds.

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