Shuksan is located approximately six miles to the east of Mount Baker in the North Cascades. Mssr. Beckey has this to say about this route: €œIt is a clever and tortuous route, not technically difficult, but involving stimulating route finding.€ (Ahh, that €œstimulating€ Beckey route finding!) This route can be a challenge for those who find steep snow and class 3-4 rock with big exposure to be unnerving. There have been some L O N G days spent on this peak by the unprepared. Know the route as best you can and start early.

Activity Notes

Mt. Shuksan / Fisher Chimneys (grade III, 4th class, steep snow, glacier terrain)

This will be a three day trip to climb the Fisher Chimneys route of Mt. Shuksan, with one night camped in the high alpine on snow.

This climb requires...

  • significant physical fitness for sustained all day climbing
  • crevasse rescue skills
  • moderate amount snow climbing experience
  • strong skills with axe/crampons
  • comfortable with 4th class slab rock terrain unprotected scrambling

We'll depart from the Lake Anne trailhead, and ascend nearly the entire route to the Sulfide Glacier, and move towards the summit pyramid to make camp on the snow. Physical fitness, curated gear selection, and good packing are important. To get to camp, we'll climb with full packs through ongoing technical terrain, sustained 4th class scrambling, and two glacier crossings (distance 7.0 miles, elevation change: +4902' -1686')


As a note, when assembling climbers for a Mazama climb, I deliberately strive for a diverse, and balanced team. I principally take into consideration an individual's physical fitness, skill level for the route, and how they can contribute to the climb team’s diversity. Consideration of diversity especially applies to the selection of the assistant and lead climber(s) to help expand the diversity in prospective Climb Leaders in the Mazamas.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Other Information
Driving Distance from Portland 320 miles
Driving Time from Portland 6 hours
General Route Info summitpost mountain forecast USFS Glacier Public Service Center: (360) 599-2714 Located approximately six miles to the east of Mount Baker in the North Cascades, Mount Shuksan is the tallest non-volcanic peak in the Cascades. From Selected Climbs in the Cascades (Nelsen and Potterfield): "The massive and complex Mount Shuksan - whose handsome profile from Picture Lake has become a frequent photographic cliché - offers no less than five rugged faces, with four of them commonly climbed. Big, remote, interesting, and guarded by sometimes troublesome approaches, Mt Shuksan exerts a strong attraction for climbers drawn to its wilderness slopes and rugged beauty." Beckey writes about the route, “It is a clever and tortuous route, not technically difficult, but involving stimulating route finding.” (Ahh, that “stimulating” Beckey route finding!) The Fisher Chimneys is an interesting and demanding route, providing a serious challenge to those who are out-of-shape or who are nervous climbing exposed slopes on high angle snow or unbelayed through Class 3 - 4 rock chimneys in mountaineering boots. Many parties have had very long climbs on this route (20 hours+!) Clarence “Happy” Fisher pioneered the route in 1927. See Beckey’s Cascade Alpine Guide for more detailed look at this area’s geologic and climbing history.
Expected Duration Car to car in two or more days
Interesting Features Spectacular Views
Relevant Books Selected Climbs in the North Cascades by Nelson and Potterfield Cascade Alpine Guide: Rainy Pass to Fraser River by Fred Beckey
Relevant Maps USGS 7 minute series, Mt. Shuksan, Green Trails Map #14, and US Forest Service Mt. Baker National Forest map Google map
Awards Qualified 16 Major NW Peaks
Useful Links