Mt Shuksan Fisher Chimneys

The Fisher Chimneys route on Mt Shuksan has it all. Complex glacier travel, moderate and exposed rock climbing and often some easy ice climbing later in the season. This route delivers engaging movement and incredible scenery from start to finish. This is an advanced climb that showcases the majesty of the North Cascades.
Overview
Itinerary
Prerequisites
Inclusions
Gear

About the Fisher Chimneys Route:

  • Push Your Limits - Athletes with minimal mountaineering experience and excellent fitness will love this challenging route. 4th and low 5th class rock, snow, and glacier travel characterize this route. None of the movement is technically difficult, but it offers challenges in multiple disciplines of climbing. There can often a bit of easy ice climbing later in the season!

  • The Route - The Fisher Chimneys has it all. Complex glacier travel, moderate and exposed rock climbing and often a bit of easy ice climbing later in the season!

  • Summit Attempt - Climbing on summit day jumps right into steep glacier travel as we gain the Upper Curtis Glacier and tackle Hell's Highway, a steep section of snow and ice that connects the Curtis to the Sulphide Glacier. Once on the Sulphide, we traverse toward the summit pyramid of Mount Shuksan and climb 4th class or low 5th class rock to the top.

  • Descent - After taking a few moments on the summit, it’s time to go down! From the top, rappelling and downclimbing gets us back to the Sulphide Glacier, where we navigate back to the Upper Curtis and return to camp. Our final day of the climb is downclimbing the Fisher Chimneys and a pleasant hike back to Artist Point.

  • Confirmed Wilderness Reservations - Overnight trips in the North Cascades National Park require wilderness permits. We have reserved a number of prime dates for season, which are guaranteed:

    • June 26-28, 2024
    • July 12-14, 2024
    • August 2-4, 2024
    • August 12-15, 2024
    • August 23-25, 2024
    • August 31-September 2, 2024

    * Non-Reserved Wilderness Dates mean that we do not currently have these dates reserved with wilderness permits. We can usually get reservations for these dates and there are other camping options if we are unable to obtain a wilderness camping permit.

Here's the schedule for your trip:

  • Day 1 - Gear Check and Approach to Winnies Slide - Gear Check: Meet early for a gear check in Glacier, WA. Our guides will double check that you have all the right gear for the trip and help you minimize weight, decide on the perfect layers to pack, and choose how much food and water to bring.

    Approach to Winnies Slide Camp: This is some of the most interesting and engaging climbing as summit day! After a beautiful hike through fir trees and alpine meadows, we walk past Lake Ann and get into the engaging terrain of the Fisher Chimneys.

    The chimneys are huge gulleys, with breathtaking exposure overlooking the Curtis Glacier. The climbing is fun 4th class terrain with packs filled with camping gear, so it can feel strenuous if you are unaccustomed to this type of terrain. The approach to camp is a long day that often takes 6-8 hours.

  • Day 2 -Summit Attempt - We rise early and start with a moderate pitch or two of snow or ice to gain the Upper Curtis glacier. From here, we stretch our ropes to a glacier interval and traverse towards Hell’s Highway, which is a steep steep of snow that brings us to the Sulphide Glacier.

    Once on the Sulphide, we’ll navigate crevasses toward the summit pyramid where we’ll remove crampons and get onto the 4th class rock that leads to the summit. The summit is a small block with 360 degree views of Baker and the North Cascades. From the top, we downclimb and/or rappel back to the glacier and make our way back to camp where we’ll spend the night.

  • Day 3 - Break Down Camp & Return to Trailhead - While not quite as early as Day 2, our final day will be an early start to pack up camp, descend the Fisher Chimneys and hike back up to the trailhead. This usually takes around 5 hours.

Here are the skills and fitness you'll need for your course:

  • Intermediate Alpine Climbing Experience - Including basic rope skills, experience with belaying, rappelling and technical climbing on 4th and 5th class rock. Depending on the time of year, crampon and ice axe techniques may be required. Looking to build these skills? Join us for an Intro to Mountaineering course!

  • Excellent fitness - Able to spend 12-16 continuous hours outside, moving uphill at over 1,000’ per hour for durations of 1-2 hours between breaks. Participants should be able to hike 12-15 miles, climbing 3,000-6,000 vertical feet throughout the course of the day. People with excellent fitness typically have a strenuous workout 4-6 days per week. Be ready for a sufferfest!

Here's what's included with your trip:

  • Experienced AMGA Trained Guide
  • Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Permit
  • Ropes & Gear
  • SlingFin Tent
  • Stove & Fuel
  • Group Safety Gear - your guide will be equipped with snow science tools and a first aid kit
  • Wag Bags - for human waste disposal in with compliance 'Leave No Trace' principles
Not Included
  • Meals
  • Transportation
  • Personal Mountaineering Gear - ice axe, crampons, climbing harness
  • Guide Gratuities

North Cascades Alpine Climbing Gear List


Know Before you go

SKILL LEVELAdvanced
ELEVATION3,000-9,000'
LocationMt Shuksan

Price/Person $1,345.00
Private Programs
Duration: 3 Days
View Full Itinerary
Private Programs

Blackbird Mountain Guides offers both scheduled group programs and private programs.

Private programs are simply above and beyond what Blackbird Mountain Guides currently has scheduled. Scheduled courses are not always less expensive. Before booking a trip with Blackbird Mountain Guides, clients are encouraged to review the differences between these types of programs, and to decide what works best for them.

SCHEDULED PROGRAMS

Scheduled Programs have fixed dates, itineraries, objectives, curriculum, and costs. They typically appeal to solo individuals or small groups or who are looking to share the cost of their program with a larger group. Correspondingly, scheduled programs are less expensive for smaller groups (1-2), and they provide the opportunity to meet others with similar interests. If you have a large group (3+), Scheduled programs will often be more expensive. They can fill up quickly, and scheduling flexibility is obviously limited.

Scheduled programs will have advertised dates. All scheduled programs can be run as private programs with private dates/rates as well.

PRIVATE PROGRAMS

Private programs have scheduling freedom. They typically appeal to those who would like some flexibility in planning their own trip or course. In this regard, Itineraries and objectives can be tailored to suit current conditions as well as client goals. Private programs are normally less expensive for larger groups (3+). If you have a small group (1-2) private programs will be more expensive.

Contact us
Full Itinerary

Day 1 -  Gear Check and Approach to Winnies Slide

Gear Check: Meet early for a gear check in Glacier, WA. Our guides will double check that you have all the right gear for the trip and help you minimize weight, decide on the perfect layers to pack, and choose how much food and water to bring. 

Approach to Winnies Slide Camp:  This is some of the most interesting and engaging climbing as summit day!  After a beautiful hike through fir trees and alpine meadows, we walk past Lake Ann and get into the engaging terrain of the Fisher Chimneys.  The chimneys are huge gulleys, with breathtaking exposure overlooking the Curtis Glacier.  The climbing is fun 4th class terrain with packs filled with camping gear, so it can feel strenuous if you are unaccustomed to this type of terrain.  The approach to camp is a long day that often takes 6-8 hours.

Day 2

We rise early and start with a moderate pitch or two of snow or ice to gain the Upper Curtis glacier.  From here, we stretch our ropes to a glacier interval and traverse towards Hell’s Highway, which is a steep steep of snow that brings us to the Sulphide Glacier.  Once on the Sulphide, we’ll navigate crevasses toward the summit pyramid where we’ll remove crampons and get onto the 4th class rock that leads to the summit.  The summit is a small block with 360 degree views of Baker and the North Cascades. From the top, we downclimb and/or rappel back to the glacier and make our way back to camp where we’ll spend the night.

Day 3 

While not quite as early as day 2, our final day will be an early start to pack up camp, descend the Fisher Chimneys and hike back up to the trailhead. This usually takes around 5 hours.

About the Fisher Chimneys Route:

  • Push Your Limits - Athletes with minimal mountaineering experience and excellent fitness will love this challenging route. 4th and low 5th class rock, snow, and glacier travel characterize this route. None of the movement is technically difficult, but it offers challenges in multiple disciplines of climbing. There can often a bit of easy ice climbing later in the season!

  • The Route - The Fisher Chimneys has it all. Complex glacier travel, moderate and exposed rock climbing and often a bit of easy ice climbing later in the season!

  • Summit Attempt - Climbing on summit day jumps right into steep glacier travel as we gain the Upper Curtis Glacier and tackle Hell's Highway, a steep section of snow and ice that connects the Curtis to the Sulphide Glacier. Once on the Sulphide, we traverse toward the summit pyramid of Mount Shuksan and climb 4th class or low 5th class rock to the top.

  • Descent - After taking a few moments on the summit, it’s time to go down! From the top, rappelling and downclimbing gets us back to the Sulphide Glacier, where we navigate back to the Upper Curtis and return to camp. Our final day of the climb is downclimbing the Fisher Chimneys and a pleasant hike back to Artist Point.

  • Confirmed Wilderness Reservations - Overnight trips in the North Cascades National Park require wilderness permits. We have reserved a number of prime dates for season, which are guaranteed:

    • June 26-28, 2024
    • July 12-14, 2024
    • August 2-4, 2024
    • August 12-15, 2024
    • August 23-25, 2024
    • August 31-September 2, 2024

    * Non-Reserved Wilderness Dates mean that we do not currently have these dates reserved with wilderness permits. We can usually get reservations for these dates and there are other camping options if we are unable to obtain a wilderness camping permit.

Here's the schedule for your trip:

  • Day 1 - Gear Check and Approach to Winnies Slide - Gear Check: Meet early for a gear check in Glacier, WA. Our guides will double check that you have all the right gear for the trip and help you minimize weight, decide on the perfect layers to pack, and choose how much food and water to bring.

    Approach to Winnies Slide Camp: This is some of the most interesting and engaging climbing as summit day! After a beautiful hike through fir trees and alpine meadows, we walk past Lake Ann and get into the engaging terrain of the Fisher Chimneys.

    The chimneys are huge gulleys, with breathtaking exposure overlooking the Curtis Glacier. The climbing is fun 4th class terrain with packs filled with camping gear, so it can feel strenuous if you are unaccustomed to this type of terrain. The approach to camp is a long day that often takes 6-8 hours.

  • Day 2 -Summit Attempt - We rise early and start with a moderate pitch or two of snow or ice to gain the Upper Curtis glacier. From here, we stretch our ropes to a glacier interval and traverse towards Hell’s Highway, which is a steep steep of snow that brings us to the Sulphide Glacier.

    Once on the Sulphide, we’ll navigate crevasses toward the summit pyramid where we’ll remove crampons and get onto the 4th class rock that leads to the summit. The summit is a small block with 360 degree views of Baker and the North Cascades. From the top, we downclimb and/or rappel back to the glacier and make our way back to camp where we’ll spend the night.

  • Day 3 - Break Down Camp & Return to Trailhead - While not quite as early as Day 2, our final day will be an early start to pack up camp, descend the Fisher Chimneys and hike back up to the trailhead. This usually takes around 5 hours.

Here are the skills and fitness you'll need for your course:

  • Intermediate Alpine Climbing Experience - Including basic rope skills, experience with belaying, rappelling and technical climbing on 4th and 5th class rock. Depending on the time of year, crampon and ice axe techniques may be required. Looking to build these skills? Join us for an Intro to Mountaineering course!

  • Excellent fitness - Able to spend 12-16 continuous hours outside, moving uphill at over 1,000’ per hour for durations of 1-2 hours between breaks. Participants should be able to hike 12-15 miles, climbing 3,000-6,000 vertical feet throughout the course of the day. People with excellent fitness typically have a strenuous workout 4-6 days per week. Be ready for a sufferfest!

Here's what's included with your trip:

  • Experienced AMGA Trained Guide
  • Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Permit
  • Ropes & Gear
  • SlingFin Tent
  • Stove & Fuel
  • Group Safety Gear - your guide will be equipped with snow science tools and a first aid kit
  • Wag Bags - for human waste disposal in with compliance 'Leave No Trace' principles
Not Included
  • Meals
  • Transportation
  • Personal Mountaineering Gear - ice axe, crampons, climbing harness
  • Guide Gratuities

North Cascades Alpine Climbing Gear List

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Epic Reviews From Adventurers

11 reviews
  • Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    Coudn't have imagined a better Rainier Summit!

    Blackbird Guides is the best! I've been using their services for about 3 years and every adventure has been absolutely incredible. Each of the guides are full of knowledge and incredibly good at passing along their years of expertise. I just summited Rainier with Brandon and Andrew and I couldn't have imagined a better experience all around. I refer everyone I know to Blackbird.

    April H.
    Flag of United States
    Verified Buyer
    Mt Rainier Summit & Skills Expedition 5 Day
  • Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    Much better than expected.

    BlackBird guides were professional. I highly recommend them.

    Justin
    Mt Baker Summit Climb 1 Day
  • Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    Hit 3 Cascade summits, truly outstanding guiding!

    We did a five day trip. Hit three summits. Truly outstanding guiding by Zeb and Aaron. Their knowledge of the mountains is impressive. They knew how to modify the trip on the fly based on skill level. Pushed the right amount to get us there but still made it casual and fun. I rock climb but this was my first alpine climbing and I’d recommend Blackbird to any first timers.

    Anthony V.
    Flag of United States
    Forbidden Peak North Ridge
  • Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    Baker North Ridge was amazing!

    Did a 3 day trip with Blackbird on Baker North Ridge. Was an amazing experience. Our guide, Arthur, was knowledge, and willing to teach us. Would be happy to book another trip with them again.

    David S.
    Flag of United States
    Verified Buyer
    Mt Baker North Ridge Summit Climb
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