American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Washington, Cascade Mountains, Mount Shuksan, Southwest Face

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1965

Mount Shuksan, Southwest Face. On July 29, 1963 Dave Beckstead and I made the first ascent of Shuksan’s southwest precipice. This impressive wall, rising some 1800 feet above the lower Curtis Glacier, is an eye-capturing face, extremely steep in its lower extremities, which gives the southwest side of Shuksan a sculptured, wild, alpine look. We were prepared for very difficult rock climbing and certainly the first 600 feet were exciting, exacting, and exposed 5th class. Route finding here was confusing, and we virtually climbed this distance once without packs for reconnaissance purposes. Then with pitons in, we went back up. One very delicate slab by-pass pitch took a bit of muscle and balance, and soon we were on less difficult terrain. We moved up and to the left edge of the wall and then cut back right to a rib that was near the center of the face and ascended several hundred feet of class 3-4 rock to the crest. From there we dropped to the upper icecap and moved on to the summit. The descent was made by way of Hell’s Highway and the standard Fisher Chimney route.

Don Gordon, unaffiliated

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