Mt Shuksan: North Face - Fisher Chimneys
Whatcom County, Washington
Uploaded by Bivy Team


12 :04 hrs
12.3 mi
6035 ft

The north face of Mt Shuksan is a classic and challenging route. Go light since you're carrying over the mountain. Park at the entrance to White Salmon Lodge but don't block the gate. Plan for a ride back to your car or hitchhike after you're finished. The first day is a miserable bushwhack through steep terrain and alders, raspberry bushes, and conifers. I hear it's better in early season on snow. We climbed it mid August. Spend the night on the shoulder ridge just below the route. Get an early start because it’s a very long day to climb the route, summit, and then descend down to the top of the Fisher Chimneys where there are good bivy sites. Climb the 45 - 60 degree snow/ice north face over several hours. Navigating through the crevices can be tricky. The climbing is sustained and requires focus. Climb across the snow field toward the col east of the summit and around to the southwest face of the summit pyramid. We took light shoes for the rock climb to the summit and were glad we did. This is Class 4 to low Class 5 climbing, depending on your route. Descend down the Sulphide Glacier for a bit and turn west toward the Fisher Chimneys route for descent. Pay careful attention to the route and spend the night where the route crosses rock just above the Fisher Chimneys. The Fisher Chimneys are Class 4 and require more care on descent than many think. It’s steep and loose in places. Descend the chimneys and enjoy a long but beautiful hike out to the Lake Ann trailhead. Take 3 - 4 snow pickets, and a few ice screws for the north face. We used pickets regularly, but not the ice screws. Take them anyway because your conditions may vary. You’ll also need some cams and/or stoppers for the summit pyramid. There are several anchors in place on the summit pyramid and on the Fisher Chimneys for aid in rappelling off, but take some of your own too.

2 photos
5 years ago
Really loved this climb. It offers a great combination of alpine and moderate rock climbing. The bushwhack is indeed a pain. Resist the temptation to spend a lot of time in the valley floor fighting through the Alders. At the right time of year, you can find abundant blueberries on the shoulder before beginning the route. We foraged like bears after the approach slog. The steep snow sections were a little tricky for us because the snow was slushy and it was very difficult to protect. We also started a little too late and weren't able to summit and get back down to the top of Fisher Chimneys for the night, so we slept just below the summit pyramid on the snow. We simul-climbed the rock pyramid with medium cams for protection. It's difficult to find where to hop the ridge and start the Fisher Chimney descent. Veer left below the campsites, or better yet, follow this Bivy path closely.