Mt. Shuksan

August 24-25, 2009

We started up the trail under clear skies. The first two miles are flat, then the trail starts to switchback up the ridge. Soon the nice switchbacks end and the trail seems to go straight up the ridgeline, held in place by the roots of the fabulous forest. At the crest of the ridge alpine meadows greeted us along with some very steep, rocky grades. We had lunch at the “Notch”. The other side of the Notch is rock and glaciers. The cairns sort of marked the trail as we scrambled over glacier sculpted boulders. We FINALLY found the high camp (6200 feet), just above the composting (?) toilet. Our tents perched on the rock precipice with glacier toes on both sides and Shuksan Lake faaaaar below. The surrounding mountain scenery was spectacular,  worth the trip, even if we could not make the climb. About 2 a.m. the bright milky way disappeared, as forecast. By 4 a.m. it started raining. At sunrise the rain had stopped, but the clouds were only 200 feet above us. By 10 a.m. they had dropped and we were in a whiteout. Larry, Doug and I hiked out. What a knee killer trail, even with poles. Amber and Dylan stayed another night, mostly in the cocoon of the clouds. It was a great time, even though we did not summit.

Climbers were Amber Bell, Dylan Farque, Larry Huff, Doug McCarty and Jim Pierce, leader.

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