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| | |-+  June 27, 2009, Shuksan, Sulfide Glacier
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Author Topic: June 27, 2009, Shuksan, Sulfide Glacier  (Read 1725 times)

Posts: 156

June 27, 2009, Shuksan, Sulfide Glacier
« on: 06/28/09, 01:05 PM »

Aaron, Andrew and I did a 1-day trip up the Sulfide yesterday.  After leaving about 3:30 we hit snow about 4,400 feet.  See photo below of the early morning sun on Baker.

We had to carry the skis for several hundred yards above the col where the snow was melted away.  After that it was easy skinning up to the summit pyramid (see photo below).

About 20 people went up and/or down the gully to the summit before we started up.   It looked crowded so we bided our time and let the snow soften.  We had a nice chat with a Frenchman who was visiting the area for a couple weeks with his girlfriend.  He had managed to hook up with a couple of fellow countryman and rented gear for a quick trip up Shuksan.  He was quite impressed with our mountains and was itching to get out again for another trip before leaving.  We suggested he drop the girlfriend in Portland and do a one-day trip up the SW chutes.

The summit gully was mostly snow with about 20 feet of mixed climbing (alpine ice and rock) and a short rock scramble at the top.  Steep enough to be interesting but the snow was soft enough for good iceaxe and  foot holds.  Photo below shows Aaron on the left.

The guy on the right in the photo below is the top climber of a 3-person team that started down when we were about half way up.  They had a belay at the top but descended the rest roped together with no protection.   Conditions were such that they would likely all go down if one of them fell.  Needless to say, we were both afraid for them and happy to be off to the side outside of their fall zone.  Here's a question: Under what circumstances should you give climbing advice to climbers on the mountain?  I wanted to say something but it didn't seem like a good time given that they needed all their concentration for the task at hand.

After food, photos, and relaxation we started down.  We did one repel from an existing station about 50 feet below the summit.  We then downclimbed the snow to just above the crux.  At that stage we got back on the rock and did another rapel down to the base of the gully.  Fresh snow from last week had filled in the suncups above 7,000 ft and the skiing was smooth and soft.  After a nice 1,000 ft of fall line sking the rest of the Sulfide is mostly traversing and pretty flat.  We never put on skins but we had a fair amount of shuffling along. 

All in all, a great day.  I'll be back to Shuksan, but next time it will be one of the northern routes.

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« Last Edit: 06/28/09, 01:08 PM by Scottk » Logged

Posts: 275

Re: June 27, 2009, Shuksan, Sulfide Glacier
« Reply #1 on: 06/29/09, 09:59 AM »

Great day on the hill and good, smooth snow up high.  I had hopes into cajoling Scott and Aaron into circumnavigating the pyramid after summitting, but by the time we were off we were all pretty beat.  Next time I will just try for the circumnav, I think.  Bet there's some rad view of the Nooksack Cirque and Tower.

Here's a few more pictures:

[Shuksan and the Suphide and Crystal Glaciers, Downclimbing between rappels from the summit pyramid,
Aaron ripping down the Sulphide]
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