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Matt and I planned to meet up with Ryan (a new climbing companion) in Northern Washington on Friday evening before heading to the Lake Ann trailhead to climb Mount Shuksan via the Fisher Chimney route. Mount Shuksan is 9,131 feet tall and lies within the North Cascades National Park. It's about 6 miles East of Mount Baker and 12 miles South of the Canadian border. Mount Shuksan is a glaciated massif (non-volcanic) in the Cascade Range formed by tectonic plate collision. It's home to several waterfalls including Sulphide Creek Falls, which is one of the tallest waterfalls in North America.
The trailhead is near the end of the Mt. Baker Highway SR 542 approximately 23 miles from the Glacier Public Service Center. Lake Ann trail # 600 heads East approximately 4 miles to Lake Ann. From the lake, a climber's trail splits off to the left towards Fisher Chimney and eventually the Mount Shuksan summit pyramid. The total one way distance is about 7 miles. The Fisher Chimney route has 3rd and 4th class rock climbing as well as 35-50° snow climbing. It is a technical route not for the faint of heart. Overnight camping on the mountain requires a backcountry permit issued by the NPS on a first-come first-served basis.
Our plan was to to climb above Fisher Chimney and bivy Saturday night, then climb to the summit pyramid on Sunday and back down to the car. That's about 5.5 miles the first day and 8.5 miles the second day for a round-trip distance of 14 miles. Unfortunately our plans were canceled when the weather forecast changed. A storm was supposed bring rain Sunday, which would have likely made visibility very poor and a summit attempt unnecessarily dangerous. We'll just have to wait for another weekend to tackle Mount Shuksan.