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| | |-+  Shuksan, Sulphide Glacier June 27-28,2008
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Author Topic: Shuksan, Sulphide Glacier June 27-28,2008  (Read 1775 times)
lowrider
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Shuksan, Sulphide Glacier June 27-28,2008
« on: 06/29/08, 10:31 PM »

Skied the Sulphide Glacier on Shuksan with my 15-year-old son Isaac and his 16 year old fried Krishni and her parents, Craig and Polly. Isaac and Krishni have known each other since they were 2 and were in preschool together. We climbed Baker when they were 11 and Rainier when they were 13. Shuksan seemed like another worthwhile mountaineering objective.

We left the Shannon ridge trail head (actually road about a mile from the TH because of blowdowns) around noon and got to just below the 5400 foot col below the Sulphide in late afternoon. Though we had planned to have a camp higher up, it seemed a better plan to ski as little as possible with full packs. Bluebird skies and very pleasant sunset view to Baker on one side and Blum, Hagen and Bacon on the other.

Left camp just before 5 am and got to the col just after sunrise. We booted up the first steep portion  which looked considerably easier coming down in soft snow. Spectacular views into the Picketts and Mystery Ridge from the center of the Sulphide. Deep snow pack covered crevasses over most of the Sulphide.  Up to the summit block around ten.
 
The teens were troopers with the long arduous climb. The steep snow at the base of the Summit pyramid was pretty rotten and the main central gully was full of the same. We changed out of our boots and into running shoes for a sketchy ascent up the loose ridge west of the gully to the summit. There were periodic sluffs next to us on the way up. Left the summit block around noon. The Sulphide was a boiling parabolic collector and the snow ranged from light to heavy mashed potatoes, but still fun. And the math was fun 5 hours up, 40 minutes down.

We broke camp and descended through shaded, firm, litter covered snow to about 3800 feet where the risk of serious injury seemed to increase with each turn. The kids were good spirited during a moderate off course bushwhack until we joined the trail at 3000 feet.
 
Once again finding it difficult to post photos (HOURS wasted)
Here is a link
http://picasaweb.google.com/andy.dym1/Shuksan?pli=1


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powdrx
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Re: Shuksan, Sulphide Glacier June 27-28,2008
« Reply #1 on: 07/01/08, 03:44 PM »

Heading up this route tomorrow.  Curious on the summit pyramid... did you rap or just downclimb your up-route?  Were the sluffs from inside the central gully or falling off the ridge you were climbing?  I like the tennis shoe idea instead of ski boots.  Thanks a bunch!!  Glad for some solid weather to work with!!

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lowrider
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Re: Shuksan, Sulphide Glacier June 27-28,2008
« Reply #2 on: 07/01/08, 05:45 PM »

We rapped one pitch near the top and downclimbed the rest. The sluffs were from the central gully. There are a number of rap anchors on prominences in the gully and it may even be more cleared out after another 4 days of heat and sun.

Probably the best alternative would be to ascend completely on the eastern ridge. This can be approached from the right side looking at the block from the Sulphide and has the least time spent on the steep rotten snow. It's just a little airy and exposed. The day we ascended, there was a solo climber whose prints appeared to go that way.

There is also a western gully that was mostly snow free and looked easier than the line we took but more snaking around on the steep snow to get there.

Have a great trip. The views are spectacular.

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powdrx
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Re: Shuksan, Sulphide Glacier June 27-28,2008
« Reply #3 on: 07/02/08, 07:08 AM »

Thanks for the beta LowRider!!  Did ya hike much trail on the way up, or is it still snow covered??  Summer is finally here and getting some July turns!!
Thanks!!

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lowrider
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Re: Shuksan, Sulphide Glacier June 27-28,2008
« Reply #4 on: 07/02/08, 09:31 PM »

Hiking to about 3600 feet. then continuous snow.
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