3-day • Sulphide Glacier – $825
3-day • Fisher Chimneys – $995 (advanced) 2:1 ratio
This crown jewel of the North Cascades is one of the most beautiful mountains in America, and our guided climbs of Mt. Shuksan are unforgettable. The majestic approach is through alpine meadows abounding with wildflowers and mountain goats. The guided climb of Mount Shuksan is via Sulphide Glacier to the base of the summit pyramid. There is 400 feet of rock climbing (scrambling!) to the 9,127-foot summit. On the descent you get to do multiple rappels to the base of the glacier, which is a great way to learn how to rappel and we provide instruction. High camp is at the “toe” of the glacier in the meadow at 6,500′. In this amphitheater of the North Cascades, you are surrounded by jagged peaks with Mount Baker looming in the distance.
Related climbs: Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, Mount Shuksan, Mount Olympus, Sahale Peak, Eldorado Peak, Forbidden Peak, Ruth Mountain, Mount Deception, North Cascade Classic Climbs, Snoqualmie Alpine Rock
Previous experience and advanced alpine climbing skills are required for this climb.
Day 1 • Hike to High Camp
Arrive trailhead by Artist Point and head toward Lake Ann. The hike to base camp takes from 2‑4 hours, passing through alpine meadows and clusters of Mountain Hemlock before climbing to Lake Ann, where we set camp.
Day 2 • Summit Day via Chimney’s • 9,127ft
A long day begins with a pre-dawn start. The climb first involves easy rock climbing in a series of chimneys, then moderate glacier climbing over parts of three different glaciers, and concludes with a 5.0 ascent of the summit pyramid. From here you will have views of the complex glaciers beneath us as well as the surrounding peaks of the North Cascades! We then descend the climbing route, back to our tent. After descending, we will enjoy the afternoon and relax in camp.
Day 3 • Hike to Trailhead
After breakfast we pack our gear and return to the trailhead.
Do you want to learn mountaineering? Mount Baker can be guided as a four day Intro to Mountaineering Course or five day Mountaineering Course. Taking a mountaineering course will help prepare you for the challenges of climbing higher peaks. NWAG courses allow for further instruction of climbing and mountaineering skills. Including step kicking, ice axe techniques, self-arrest, crampon usage, glacier travel, crevasse rescue and rope techniques. We also offer a one day snow climbing school at Snoqualmie Pass, and an Intro to Alpine Rock course at Snoqualmie Pass.
Learn to travel safely in the backcountry with our ski touring and avalanche education courses. Or if you’re ready for the challenge of the big mountains, we offer ski descents and tours on many of the Pacific Northwest classic peaks. Mount Baker, Shuksan and Snoqualmie Pass to name a few. Backcountry and Avalanche education, Classic Ski Descents and Tours
In addition to our Pacific Northwest climbs we offer international climbing & trekking expeditions through Mountain Gurus. The Ecuador Volcanoes, Elbrus in Russia and the Mexican Volcanoes are all really good next steps for those seeking to climb higher peaks and gain altitude experience internationally.
Climbs begins and ends in North Cascades NP
Plan to arrive the day before the climb begins.
Day 1 • Hike to High Camp • 6,500ft
Start time and location to be determined. Gear check and drive to the trailhead at 2500’. Hike to camp at the base of the Sulphide Glacier. Basic skills review.
Day 2 • Summit Day • Mount Shuksan • 9,127ft
Summit day starts early. Begin climbing the Sulfide Glacier from camp to the base of the summit pyramid. We scramble rock (class 3) to the summit. Rappel and descend to camp.
Day 3 • Hike to Trailhead
After breakfast we pack our gear and return to the trailhead.
Plan to depart the day after the climb ends.
Itinerary Notes: NWAG makes every effort to uphold the scheduled itinerary, although our guides are given discretion to adapt the itinerary for reasons beyond our control or due to the needs of the group. Meal schedule: (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner
Program start time & location: 8:00 am
Start time and location to be determined. We often meet in Sedro-Woolley, WA for gear check prior to driving to the trailhead.
Deposit and Payments
$500.00 deposit includes reservation fee, due with application
Balance due 90 days prior to departure
Boiled water for meals
Professional mountain guide
All group equipment (including tents, stoves, pickets, ropes)
Services not included
Trailhead parking pass fees
Meals and snack food
Hotels or lodging
Trip cancellation insurance
Medical and evacuation coverage
A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your trip will be sent to you in the PreClimb departure information upon reservation. For your safety and comfort it’s extremely important that you adhere strictly to the equipment list.
Please click to see our gear rental items. We have a full selection of mountain gear and clothing items for rent.
Click on the camera icon below to view a sample gear item.
Head and Face:
**An expedition down parka w/ hood is required for Mount Rainier. A mid-weight insulated parka is required for Mount Baker and climbs and courses in North Cascades NP, Mount Olympus. Proper hard shell rain gear is required on all NWAG trips.**
**Proper hard shell rain gear is required on all NWAG trips. Gaiters are optional on mid and late summer climbs.**
**Read our Mountaineering Boot and Crampon guide for more information. Double plastic mountaineering boots or Heavy-weight synthetic/ hybrid mountaineering boots are required for Mount Rainier and early season Mount Baker and North Cascades NP climbs and courses. Single-weight synthetic/ leather mountaineering boots are adequate for mid and late summer climbs and courses on Mount Baker, North Cascades NP, Mount Olympus. NO Backpacking boots allowed on any trips, boots must be full shank and crampon compatible.**
**An adequate size backpack is required depending on the climb or course you’ve joined. You are responsible to carry all your personal gear and food, as well as a portion of group gear (tents, ropes, stoves, fuel, etc.).**
Personal Health and First Aid
Previous mountaineering experience is not required on most Northwest trips. Our guides will teach you the basic snow and glacier travel skills necessary to make a safe and successful climb. Although above average physical conditioning is required for most mountain climbs in the Cascades. Prior hiking, backpacking or climbing experience is very beneficial. High altitude experience is not required.
Most trips in the Pacific Northwest are rated as strenuous and we cannot over emphasize the importance of conditioning. By getting your heart, lungs, and legs in top physical condition, you can focus on learning, while being able to enjoy the high mountain environment. It is recommended that you have some hiking and backpacking (camping) experience prior to this trip. All participants are required to carry a share of the group food and equipment which includes tents, stoves, pickets, ropes. Be prepared to carry a 40 to 60 lbs backpack to high camp depending on the climb or course you choose.
The mountains of the Cascades Range are physically demanding and your ability to enjoy this adventure depends on your overall health and fitness.
It is often stated. The best training for mountain climbing is hiking, backpacking or climbing with considerable elevation gain (2000 vertical feet or more). Few other fitness activities truly replicate the physical demands of climbing steep mountains with a backpack.
We suggest you begin your training program at least four months prior to departure depending on your current conditioning. Walking up steep hills and stair climbing are both excellent ways to condition your lower body. Begin slowly, without the weight of a pack, eventually adding weight as you increase your training pace. In order to condition yourself to carry the weight, it will be important to take long hikes (4-6 hours) with a weighted pack at least one or two times a week. The best training for mountaineering is to carry a loaded pack up and down hills or small mountains. Hike uphill without breaks for at least an hour at a time when possible. Then break 10-15 minutes at the most and then continue hiking uphill for at least another hour. Do this as much and as often as you can. This is certainly not the only way to train but is probably one of the best ways to train for climbing big mountains. Don’t worry about your pace, this will increase over time, instead hike uphill slower if needed without taking as many breaks. Work at maintaining an even respiratory rate.
Unfortunately, many of you don’t live near good hills or mountains so then you will need to find another activity that will help increase your endurance. Supplement this with running, cycling, swimming, cross-fit sports, weight training, etc. for additional aerobic conditioning your heart and lungs. Any time spent at altitude will also prove beneficial. Remember mountain climbing (unlike running) is an activity where you slowly climb uphill over long periods of time while carrying heavy to a moderate amount of weight.