Monday, May 4, 2009

A Ski Descent of the Sulphide

With a good forecast, 4 of us (Eric, Chuck, Jeff, and Paul) decided to check out Shuksan via the Sulphide Glacier. We found excellent spring skiing conditions from the woods on Shannon Ridge (~4400 ft) to our turn-around point at the base of the summit pyramid (8500 ft). The only place that we encountered wind was at our highpoint. The rest of the glacier was incredibly peaceful and offered spectacular views of the North Cascades National Park to the east.

The only difficulty that we encountered was on the approach. Downed trees and snow patches forced us to park at 1600 ft on the Shannon Ridge road. Alternating snow patches and bare ground made for difficult travel until the clear cut where skinning became an effective means of travel. The clear cut was completely covered in snow, but is melting fast. It was total mush on our return.

We watched a solo skier descend from Shuksan’s summit via the main south facing gully. Nicely done Dan H. After a brief visit, he was off to ski Shuksan’s West Face.

We saw no other people our entire trip, but the grouse were sure abundant and noisily whuumphing their air sacks in the woods below snow line.

AAI Backpacking Guide Jeff Ries Ascends the Sulphide glacier in Beautiful Spring Weather

Chuck Foster Skis Shuksan's Sulphide Glacier

--Jeff Reis, AAI Backpacking Guide

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