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Mt. Shuksan - Sulphide Glacier

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  • Show Trip Info

    Price
    $1860
    Deposit
    $400
    Duration
    4 days
    Difficulty
    Level 2
    Type
    Mountaineering
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Mt. Shuksan - Sulphide Glacier

Mt. Shuksan - Sulphide Glacier

dollar sign Price / Deposit

$1,860 / $ 400

Meter Difficulty

Level 2

Clock Duration

4 days

Climber on cliff Type

Mountaineering

A classic climb of a Northwest icon, and the ideal entry level climb for those new to the sport of alpine mountaineering or seeking an approachable yet legendary climb.

Jump To…

RMI's climb of Mt. Shuksan's Sulphide Glacier is a classic alpine ascent with a challenging summit pyramid.

CLIMB HIGHLIGHTS

  • Venture from from the thick forests to the glaciers of the Northwest.
  • Establish camp in the heart of the North Cascades on the edge of the Sulphide Glacier.
  • Scale the rock and snow of Mt. Shuksan's prominent summit pyramid.

The Sulphide Glacier on Mt. Shuksan
The Sulphide Glacier on Mt. Shuksan
The Sulphide Glacier on Mt. Shuksan
The Sulphide Glacier on Mt. Shuksan
The Sulphide Glacier on Mt. Shuksan
Making the approach to Mt. Shuksan's Sulphide Glacier
Camp on the Sulphide Glacier
Mt. Shuksan standing over the Sulphide Glacier
Training on the Sulphide Glacier
Climbing the Sulphide Glacier at sunrise
An RMI Team on the upper stretches of the Sulphide Glacier
Climbing Mt. Shuksan's Summit Pyramid
An RMI Team on Mt. Shuksan's Summit Pyramid
An RMI Team on Mt. Shuksan's Summit Pyramid with Mt. Baker in the distance
An RMI Team climbing Mt. Shuksan's Summit Pyramid
On the summit of Mt. Shuksan
Descending Mt. Shuksan's Summit Pyramid
An RMI Team below Mt. Shuksan's Summit Pyramid after reaching the top
Descending the Sulphide Glacier

Mt. Shuksan (9,131') has become an iconic mountain for climbers in the northwest with its rugged beauty, central location in the North Cascades, and rich mountaineering history. Our guides find it to be one of the most enjoyable ascents in Washington and are always eager to introduce climbers to Mt. Shuksan's charms.

The Sulphide Glacier route has something to offer everyone: an approach through pristine forests, moderate glacier travel, an exhilarating and airy summit, and a view of the surrounding North Cascade peaks that can't be beat.

The climbing is moderate in nature but you can count on feeling the wind beneath your feet as you ascend the final rock and snow pyramid to the summit. We lead this route at a 2 to 1 climber to guide ratio ensuring that you receive a high degree of hands-on instruction prior to the climb and also have a small, efficient rope team during the summit ascent. Our cramponing, ice axe and rope travel skills training for this climb takes place right outside our tent door on the Sulphide Glacier.

This climb is well suited for the beginning climber who wants to learn basic climbing skills and experience a classic summit, or the more experienced mountaineer who has not yet ticked this northwest icon.

THE RMI DIFFERENCE

The Mountain Guides at RMI have a reputation as top guides in the United States. RMI Guides participated in some of America’s first ventures into the far reaches of the Himalaya. Years of expedition guiding and alpine climbing around the world have built a core of consummate professional guides.

Our guides are celebrated teachers and trainers, known for their leadership as well as their character. They possess the compassion, enthusiasm and ability to empower others and inspire them forward. Such qualities may only be found in people at the top of their profession. Despite their vast experience, RMI Guides still remember their own first steps into the mountains, and enjoy helping other climbers reach new heights.

Our exceptional focus to detail, our unparalleled level of climber attention, and our genuine excitement for these adventures make our programs truly memorable.

SAFETY

RMI strives to create the safest mountain experience possible. Our experienced team of guides focuses on leading fun and successful climbs without compromising safety. Each climb includes careful pre-trip planning, daily weather forecasts, avalanche forecasts, and diligent attention to detail. All RMI Guides are highly trained in remote medicine and rescue skills and carry comprehensive medical kits, rescue equipment, and radio communication equipment throughout the program. Regardless of the objective or the destination, safety remains RMI’s top priority.

As you prepare for your upcoming adventure please feel free to contact our office and speak directly to one of our experienced guides regarding equipment, conditioning, the route, or any other questions you may have about our programs. We are available Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at (888) 89-CLIMB or [email protected].

Climber Reviews

Filter By
08/15/2023
The early alpine start walking up the Sulphide Glacier.
Phillip C.

09/19/2022
I really liked the blend of backpacking, mountaineering, and rock climbing on this trip. It was the perfect mix of terrain! I also really enjoyed the pacing. One big day to high camp, then a more local day for snow school, then a big summit day. Perfect!
Clayton W.

09/12/2022
My Shuksan and the team from RMI.
Tyler W.

08/24/2022
The people made this trip awesome. I couldn't ask for a better group of guides or participants. Everyone got on really well, and the energy and communication was great. While this was my third experience on a glaciated peak in Washington, I enjoyed skills day because I love learning from different people and their experiences. There is always room to improve one's technique and skills, and grow in the mountains.
Elizabeth K.

08/21/2022
Great group dynamics, guides were incredibly friendly and competent which made me feel safe and comfortable.
Michael C.

09/09/2019
The whole trip was great! The hike in was amaizing and our basecamp will forever be in my memory. I really enjoyed being at base camp picking the guides brains and of course my favorite portion was the crossing of the glacier and the pyramid climb with Avery.
Joshua G.

09/03/2019
The guides. Super funny, down to earth and very helpful when it mattered most.
Robert M.

08/31/2018
Summit day, especially the trek across the glacier.
William B.

08/27/2018
I've climbed with Steve and JT before, and they are great. I enjoyed the pace of the trip. Rainier 4 day is too fast and this one is just perfect. Also, the rock climbing training on day 2 is great. It gave excellent confidence for summit day. Really enjoyed that part.
Kevin R.

09/27/2017
The part of the trip I enjoyed the most was how incredible Steve, JM and Nick were as guides. As someone who had never experienced mountaineering before I was not sure what to expect on the trip, but Steve, JM and Nick all made me feel comfortable and safe and were integral to my full enjoyment of the experience. I had an awesome time throughout the trip, and would absolutely do another trip with RMI because of it.
Brendan L.

09/25/2016
Amazing trip to the top of Shuksan! Provided a great mix of glacier and rock climbing. The guides were pros and allowed climbers to focus on the experience. Can't wait to book with RMI again!
Danny G.

08/27/2016
I loved being on an all Womens trip. The guides were great. I loved the pyramid.
Melissa E.

08/26/2016
It was so much more than I thought it would be! As always, I love the women's climbs for the collaboration between clients- but this trip showed how well the guides can work together (same as on my Rainier trip last year). Watching them problem solve and communicate, and use their skills and knowledge, was an amazing learning experience. And they seemed to have fun too! Loved the combination of trail/glacier/rock travel, and the setting is beyond beautiful. My confidence has improved so much after this trip. I'll be looking for the next step soon.
Karen S.

09/08/2015
This trip was a great introduction to the wonders of climbing in the North Cascades. As Eric mentioned several times, the relatively low summit elevation belies considerable challenges involved in a climb of Mt. Shuksan. As on my previous trip with RMI, Eric demonstrated exceptional ability as a guide. I can't say enough superlatives about his knowledge, skill, and personality.
Jeremy D.

09/23/2014
As a group of guys who all know each other and don't mind a somewhat slower schedule the trip worked out great. Nice tight "do-able" objective, with a mix of climbing styles that gave us the feeling of really accomplishing something.
Will W.

09/23/2014
We hit the jackpot with three really great guides, all capable of leading the trip. Their rapport and mutual respect was obvious and made for a really great trip.
Darryl S.

08/28/2014
The opportunity to learn so much from RMI guides at a relaxed pace in a beautiful setting.
Sarah B.

09/14/2013
It was all good. Maybe the best part of the climb was the rock climbing up the summit pyramid. I had not really done any rock climbing, other than the gym, and this was fun and exciting and Geoff took us through it without a hitch.
Kirk L.

09/11/2013
We had crummy weather, but Geoff did his best to keep us comfortable and still meeting our goals. We were able to do a little ice climbing and fixed line ascent which was my favorite part of the trip. Beyond laughing and hanging out in the weather down times.
Joy M.

09/10/2013
Getting out of my comfort zone and having fun climbing, while soaking in a beautiful mountain landscape!
Matthew G.

08/18/2013
highly recommend this climb to anybody considering climbing with RMI. Beautiful views; fun mountain, and this climb has all the elements, glacier walking, rock climbing, roping, repelling. etc. fun one. "
James B.

07/29/2013
First of all Billy Nugent and Geoff Schellens, were friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, experienced and very professional in performing their duties. Safety was always paramount.I felt safe and confident, and they used positive reinforcement to teach us or to remind us to "keep the eye on the ball".When I was off the mark or not up to speed on something, they were direct and helpful.I felt very safe and comfortable.Their biographies and background, and educational experience demonstrate that they are amazing human beings !!! (And they have photographic memories of all of those new TV shows that the younger generation watches these days...)It was a priviledge and honor for me to have had them as our guides.
Yuri D.

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Travel Consultant

RMI has partnered with Erin Rountree to provide comprehensive travel support. We have been working with Erin for many years. As an independent agent of the Travel Society, she has booked countless miles for adventure travelers across the globe and is extremely knowledgeable about the travel needs of our programs. Please call (208) 788-2870 or send email to [email protected].

Travel Insurance

We highly recommend travel insurance for this trip. Your travel insurance policy should include trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay, baggage loss or delay, medical expenses, and evacuation.

Navigating through the different options for travel insurance can be challenging. When purchasing Travel Insurance, here are a few items to consider:

  • Read the fine print. Travel Insurance will reimburse you when canceling for a covered reason for prepaid, non-refundable trip costs that you insure. However, there are exclusions, so make sure you understand the “covered reasons.”
  • Confirm that your activity is a covered “activity.” Not all travel insurance policies will offer coverage for activities such as mountaineering, climbing, skiing, or trekking adventures. Policies can also exclude coverage for activities due to the gear used (crampons, ice axe), activities that go above specific elevations, or activities in a particular region of the world. If there are exclusions, you may need to add an “Adventure” or “Sports” package to cover your activity.
  • Verify that your state of residence is allowed with the policy that you are purchasing. Not all insurance companies offer policies in all 50 states.
  • Contact your travel protection company directly for any questions you have regarding benefits or coverage.

We have partnered with Travelex Insurance and Harbor Travel Insurance because they offer certain policies specifically designed for adventure travel and offer coverage for remote areas and activities like mountaineering, climbing, skiing, and trekking, without any altitude restrictions. 

 

For your convenience, we offer Travelex Insurance Services, Inc.(CA Agency License #0D10209) travel protection plans to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. 

For more information on the available plans visit Travelex Insurance Services or contact Travelex Insurance (800) 228-9792 and reference location number 47-0370. 

The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travel Insurance is underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company; NAIC #22276.

 

Harbor Insurance 

 Harbor Travel Insurance covers the following critical benefits:

  • Evacuation to a nearest appropriate hospital once hospitalized.
  • Trip cancellation/interruption, primary medical expense coverage, sporting goods, baggage loss, emergency dental, AD&D, and more.
  • Completely integrated one-stop program with a single contact for emergency services to travel assistance and insurance claims
  • 24/7 access to paramedics, nurses, and military veterans.

Harbor Travel Insurance is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, a medical and travel security risk company. Their team is comprised of special operations veterans, paramedics, Stanford Medicine affiliated physicians, former intelligence officers, insurance actuaries, and global security experts with dozens of years of experience in theaters around the world. The Redpoint network covers the globe, making them uniquely equipped to provide elite rescue travel insurance – in every sense of the word.

Getting There

You are responsible for your own transportation to the program's trailhead. Most climbers will fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) the evening before the program and rent a car for the 1 3/4 hour drive. The town of Mt. Vernon is approximately 76 miles and an hour and twenty minutes from SeaTac depending on traffic congestion. You will find a few more hotel and breakfast options here than in Sedro-Woolley. The small town of Sedro-Woolley, "The Gateway to the North Cascades", is approximately an hour and forty minutes from SeaTac. Our meeting place is Bingham Park, 322 W Munro Street in Sedro-Woolley. We meet at 7:00a.m. Click here for driving directions.

After a team meeting we drive to the climb's trailhead. You will need a Northwest Forest Service parking pass to leave your car at the trailhead. Passes are $30 and valid for one year. There may be an opportunity to leave some vehicles at the Ranger Station and carpool with other team members. Northwest Forest Service parking passes are available for sale at the ranger station.

Ride Share: If you are participating in a climb and are interested in sharing a ride, please post your information in the "Ride Share" forum of your North Cascades Discussion Board by logging into your RMI Account.

Area Accommodations

Spend the night in either Sedro Woolley or the nearby town of Mt. Vernon.

Weather

For updated North Cascades weather forecasts, click here.

Tipping

Our guides work hard to ensure your well-being and success on the mountain. If you have a positive experience, gratuities are an excellent way to show your appreciation. Amounts are at your discretion and should be based on your level of enjoyment. Tips for excellent service normally average 10 – 15% of the cost of the program. If you would rather not bring the guide gratuity with you on the trip, you can send a check or call the RMI office to pay with a credit card upon your return.

Facts

North Cascades National Park has over 300 glaciers, more than any other park in the lower 48 states. More than half the glaciers in the 48 states are concentrated in this mountainous wilderness region called the North Cascades.

For more facts click here, and for even more click here.

Resources

General Information on North Cascades National Park.

North Cascades National Park map.

Communities & Activities outside North Cascades National Park, click here.

Contents
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Qualifications

This trip is open to all individuals in excellent physical condition. There are no technical climbing prerequisites to join this program.

 

Get In The Best Shape Of Your Life And Then Go Climb A Mountain

Create A Fitness And Training Program

 

Physical Fitness Training

Mountaineering requires a high degree of physical stamina and mental toughness. Even for the healthiest and fittest individuals, climbing mountains qualifies as an extremely challenging endeavor.

  • Start immediately. Start a rigorous fitness and training program now with the goal of arriving in top physical condition and confident in your skills.
  • Be intentional. Focus on gaining the necessary strength, stamina and skills to meet the physical and technical demands of the climb.
  • Be sport-specific. The best fitness and training program mimics the physical and technical demands of your climbing objective. The closer you get to your program date, the more your training should resemble the climbing.

For the Mt. Shuksan - Sulphide Glacier Climb, you are preparing for:

  • Steep hiking, climbing and glacier travel with a 45-50 lb load
  • A 12+ hour summit day
  • Mountaineering techniques requiring core strength and flexibility

Nothing ensures a personally successful adventure like your level of fitness and training. Bottom line: Plan on being in the best shape of your life and ready for a very challenging adventure!

Below are approximate outlines of the program's physical demands that will be helpful in planning your training schedule and goals:

Total Climbing Time
Elevation Gain / Loss
Total Distance
Pack Weight
DAY 1 — Hike to Shuksan High Camp
4 - 5 Hours
Gain = 3,500'
4 Miles
45 - 50 lbs
DAY 2 — Mountaineering School
8 Hours
n/a
n/a
20 - 25 lbs
DAY 3 — Summit Day
8 - 10 Hours
Gain = 3,125'
Loss = 3,125'
6 Miles Round Trip
20 - 25 lbs
DAY 4 — Descent to Trailhead
2 - 3 Hours
Loss = 3,500'
4 Miles
40 - 45 lbs

Please refer to our Resources for Mountaineering Fitness and Training for detailed fitness and training information.

Acclimatization

No acclimatization is necessary for this program.

Contents
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What You’ll Need

A list of required personal equipment accompanies every RMI program, and the thought process behind each item is much greater than simply “preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.” The list for your program takes into account factors such as: seasonality, route conditions, weather, elevation and more. As such, this list is framed within the broadest of contexts and is dynamic by its very nature. Therefore, certain variables (additions and/or subtractions) are inherent within such an all-encompassing list. We make every effort to recommend only top of the line clothing and technical gear and it is never our intention for you to buy or rent unnecessary gear.

The Guide Pick is an example of the listed item, giving you an idea of the material and specifications of the item. This exact item does not need to be purchased or used; however, any item you choose must have similar characteristics and performance abilities to the Guide Pick.

RMI Guides concur on the potential necessity of every item, thus every item on the list is required at gear check. However, guides may also have suggestions derived from their experience, some of which will vary from a given list. The guides’ recommendation whether to bring along or leave behind certain item(s) comes during the gear check, when the team first meets. Occasionally this recommendation comes at the expense of having previously purchased an item. If a guide presents the option of leaving behind certain item(s) on the list of required equipment, it is for a reason. Their recommendation may be related to the weather, route conditions, freezing level, perceived strength of the party, or desired pack weight.

Ultimately, there will never be a consensus for a “perfect” equipment list for an ascent. It does not exist because of the multitude of variables faced by climbers throughout the climb. Please follow this equipment list closely so that you will arrive for the gear check with all the required items. Keep in mind the list is not black and white, fine tuning will occur once you meet with your guide. Have a great climb!

If you are planning on renting gear for your climb, there are two options. Please note rental items are not shipped. Pick-up/Drop-off is at the store location. 

Northwest Mountain Shop - 820 Metcalf Street, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284 | Phone: (360) 854-8761. Most of the required equipment is available for rent or purchase. Equipment can be reserved online.

Backcountry Essentials - 214 W Holly Street, Bellingham, WA 98225 | (360) 543-5678. Many of the required equipment items are available for rent or purchase. Equipment can be reserved online.

The Equipment Shop - American Alpine Institute - 1513 12th Street, Belllingham, WA 98225 | (360) 671-1570. Most of the required equipment is available for rent or purchase. Equipment can be reserved online.

Equipment List

Pack & Travel

Image of 50+ LITER BACKPACK
50+ LITER BACKPACK

Your backpack should be large enough to carry all of your personal gear, food and water, plus a portion of group gear. You will not need a separate summit pack.

Guide Pick™

Sleeping Bag & Pad

Image of SLEEPING BAG
SLEEPING BAG

We recommend a bag rated between 20° and 0° F. Allow ample room for movement. We recommend down over synthetic for its light weight, warmth, and packability. If climbing in April, May, June, or September, or if you know you sleep cold, consider a 0° F bag.

Guide Pick™

Image of COMPRESSION STUFF SACK FOR SLEEPING BAG
COMPRESSION STUFF SACK FOR SLEEPING BAG
Guide Pick™

Image of SLEEPING PAD
SLEEPING PAD

Full-length inflatable or closed cell pad.

Guide Pick™

Technical Gear

Image of ICE AXE
ICE AXE

The length of your axe depends on your height. Use the following general mountaineering formula: up to 5'8", use a 65 cm axe; 5'8" to 6'2", use a 70 cm axe; and taller, use a 75 cm axe. If you hold the axe so that it hangs comfortably at your side, the spike of the axe should still be a few inches above the ground.

Guide Pick™

Image of CLIMBING HARNESS
CLIMBING HARNESS

We recommend a comfortable, adjustable alpine climbing harness. Removable, drop seat, or adjustable leg loops are convenient for managing your clothing layers over the course of the climb and facilitate going to the bathroom.

Guide Pick™

Image of TRIPLE-ACTION LOCKING CARABINER
1 TRIPLE-ACTION LOCKING CARABINER

Used for clipping into the climbing rope.

Guide Pick™

Image of LOCKING CARABINER(S)
1 LOCKING CARABINER(S)

Used for clipping into anchors, etc.

Guide Pick™

Image of CRAMPONS
CRAMPONS

10-point or 12-point adjustable steel crampons with anti-balling plates designed for general mountaineering use.

Guide Pick™

Image of AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVER WITH FRESH BATTERIES
AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVER WITH FRESH BATTERIES

Transceivers are required on all North Cascades programs before July. The RMI Office will notify climb participants if the transceiver is not needed for their climb after July 1st.

Guide Pick™

Image of TREKKING POLES
TREKKING POLES

We recommend lightweight and collapsible poles with snow baskets.

Guide Pick™

Image of BELAY DEVICE
BELAY DEVICE

A tube-style belay/rappel device that can accept a variety of rope diameters.

Guide Pick™

Image of DOUBLE LENGTH SEWN NYLON SLING
DOUBLE LENGTH SEWN NYLON SLING

120 cm sewn sling ("double-length runner").

Guide Pick™

Head

Image of HELMET
HELMET

A UIAA (Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme) or CE (European Committee for Standardization) certified climbing helmet.

Guide Pick™

Image of WARM HAT
WARM HAT

Wool or synthetic. It should provide warmth but also be thin enough to fit underneath a climbing helmet.

Guide Pick™


Image of BUFF
BUFF

A Buff provides versitile head and neck protection. A neck gaiter is also acceptable.

Guide Pick™

2 PROTECTIVE FACE MASK(S)

Cloth or surgical face mask for use in situations where 6 feet of distance from others cannot be maintained.


Image of HEADLAMP
HEADLAMP

Start with fresh batteries and bring extra set(s) of batteries appropriate to the duration of the trip.

Guide Pick™

Image of GLACIER GLASSES
GLACIER GLASSES

Glacier glasses are protective sunglasses that provide close to 100% frame coverage (wrap-around frames and side shields ensure no light can enter from the top, bottom, and sides of the glasses) and transmit less than 10% of visual light.

Guide Pick™

Image of GOGGLES
GOGGLES

Amber or rose-tinted goggles for adverse weather. On windy days, climbers, especially contact lens wearers, may find photochromatic lenses the most versatile in a variety of light conditions.

Guide Pick™

Hands

Each glove layer is worn separately as conditions change during the climb.

Image of LIGHT WEIGHT GLOVES
LIGHT WEIGHT GLOVES

Light weight liner or softshell gloves. Lighter colors absorb less sunlight while still offering UV protection.

Guide Pick™

Image of MEDIUM WEIGHT GLOVES
MEDIUM WEIGHT GLOVES

Wind- and water-resistant, insulated mountain gloves.

Guide Pick™

Upper Body

We recommend a minimum of five upper body layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Two of these should be insulating layers, one light, and one medium, that fit well together. Today there are many different layering systems to choose from, including fleece, softshell, down, and synthetic options.

Image of LIGHT WEIGHT BASELAYER OR SUN HOODY
LIGHT WEIGHT BASELAYER OR SUN HOODY

Long-sleeve wool or synthetic top. Light weight, light-colored, hooded baselayers (sun hoodys) are highly recommended for sun protection.

Guide Pick™

Image of LIGHT WEIGHT INSULATING LAYER
LIGHT WEIGHT INSULATING LAYER

One step up in warmth and bulk from a baselayer. A technical fleece makes an ideal light weight insulating layer.

Guide Pick™

Image of MEDIUM WEIGHT INSULATING LAYER
MEDIUM WEIGHT INSULATING LAYER

A down, synthetic, or softshell hoody makes a great midlayer.

Guide Pick™


Image of DOWN OR SYNTHETIC INSULATED JACKET
DOWN OR SYNTHETIC INSULATED JACKET

Your down or synthetic jacket should must have an insulated hood and be able to fit over the rest of your upper body layers. It will be worn primarily in camp and at rest breaks on summit day

Guide Pick™

Image of SPORTS BRA
SPORTS BRA

We recommend a moisture-wicking, active-wear bra.

Guide Pick™

Lower Body

We recommend a system of four layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Products which combine several layers into one garment, such as traditional ski pants, don’t work well as they don’t offer the versatility of a layering system.



Image of SOFTSHELL CLIMBING PANTS
SOFTSHELL CLIMBING PANTS

Softshell climbing pants can be worn in combination with a base layer on colder days, or alone on warmer days.

Guide Pick™

Image of RAIN PANTS WITH FULL-LENGTH SIDE ZIPPERS (HARD SHELL)
RAIN PANTS WITH FULL-LENGTH SIDE ZIPPERS (HARD SHELL)

Non-insulated, waterproof shell pants must be able to fit comfortable over your baselayer bottoms and softshell climbing pants. Full side zippers or 7/8 side zippers are required so that shell pants can be put on while wearing boots and crampons.

Guide Pick™

Image of LIGHT WEIGHT TREKKING PANTS OR SHORTS  (OPTIONAL)
LIGHT WEIGHT TREKKING PANTS OR SHORTS (OPTIONAL)

A light weight, synthetic pair of pants is a good option for the approach trek when hiking at lower altitudes and in warm conditions. These pants have no insulation, are typically made of thin nylon, and commonly feature zippers to convert between pants and shorts.

Guide Pick™

Feet

Image of SINGLE MOUNTAINEERING BOOTS
SINGLE MOUNTAINEERING BOOTS

Insulated, full-shank, and crampon-compatible leather or synthetic single mountaineering boots are ideal for the North Cascades.

Guide Pick™

Image of GAITERS
GAITERS

A knee-length pair of gaiters, large enough to fit over your mountaineering boots. This will protect you from catching your crampon spikes on loose clothing. Not needed if using a boot with an integrated gaiter.

Guide Pick™

Image of PAIRS OF SOCKS
2 PAIRS OF SOCKS

Either wool or synthetic. Whatever sock combination you are accustomed to wearing during your training or previous adventures (whether single medium weight socks, a medium weight with a liner sock, two medium weight socks together, etc.), should work just fine for this climb.

Guide Pick™

First Aid & Medications

Image of SMALL PERSONAL FIRST AID KIT
SMALL PERSONAL FIRST AID KIT

Our guides carry comprehensive medical kits, so keep yours small and light. We recommend a selection of adhesive bandages, antibiotic ointment, Moleskin and blister care, medical tape and/or duct tape, basic pain reliever, and personal medications.

Guide Pick™

Personal Items

Image of MEALS & SNACKS
MEALS & SNACKS

See the Food tab for suggestions and quantities.


Image of BOWL
BOWL

Packable plastic bowl. Collapsable models can work but must be handled carefully to avoid unintended collapsing. A lid is a great feature.

Guide Pick™

Image of INSULATED MUG
INSULATED MUG

Insulated outdoor-style mug. We recommed a model with a removable lid, which helps retain heat and prevent spills. You may also choose to use 0.5L insulated bottle or a 0.5L nalgene.

Guide Pick™

Image of SPOON OR SPORK
SPOON OR SPORK

A spoon or spork made of durable plastic or anodized metal. A long-handled spoon can be nice, especially if eating from a freeze-dried meal pouch.

Guide Pick™

Image of WATER BOTTLES
2 - 3 WATER BOTTLES

One-liter water bottles with wide mouths made of co-polyester (BPA-free plastic).

Guide Pick™

Image of AQUAMIRA WATER TREATMENT DROPS
AQUAMIRA WATER TREATMENT DROPS

Chlorine Dioxide water purification drops. Make sure to select the 30-minute version.

Guide Pick™

Image of GALLON ZIP-LOCK BAG
GALLON ZIP-LOCK BAG

This will be your personal trash bag.

Guide Pick™

Image of LARGE GARBAGE BAGS
2 LARGE GARBAGE BAGS

Heavy-duty trash compacter bags for use as waterproof pack/stuff sack liners. You can also use a a waterproof pack liner.


Image of PERSONAL TOILETRIES & BAG
PERSONAL TOILETRIES & BAG

Include toilet paper, hand sanitizer, toothbrush and toothpaste, and wet wipes. Bring a quantity appropriate to the duration of your trip.


Image of TRAVEL SIZE HAND SANITIZER
TRAVEL SIZE HAND SANITIZER
Guide Pick™

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SUNSCREEN

We recommend small tubes of SPF 30 or higher, which can be carried in pockets for easy access and to prevent freezing.

Guide Pick™

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LIP BALM

We recommend SPF 15 or higher.

Guide Pick™

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INSECT REPELLENT
Guide Pick™

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EAR PLUGS

SPARE CONTACT LENSES/ EYEGLASSES (OPTIONAL)

Spare prescription glasses if you wear contact lenses/eyeglasses.


Image of PEE FUNNEL (FOR WOMEN, OPTIONAL)
PEE FUNNEL (FOR WOMEN, OPTIONAL)

Practice using this before coming on the climb!

Guide Pick™

PEE BOTTLE (OPTIONAL)

One clearly-marked wide-mouth or collapsible bottle for overnight use.

Guide Pick™

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CAMERA (OPTIONAL)

Many smartphones have excellent cameras. Action cameras, small point-and-shoots, and compact dSLRs are lightweight and work well at altitude.


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POWER BANK (OPTIONAL)

A small power bank, enough to charge a phone or e-reader several times.

Guide Pick™

Travel Clothes

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TRAVEL CLOTHES

We recommend bringing a selection of clothing to wear while traveling, site seeing and dining.  


SUNGLASSES

Pre-Trip Checklist

Purchase travel insurance.


Purchase airplane tickets.


Arrange transportation and lodging.


Reserve rental equipment.


Be in the best shape of your life!



Provided Equipment

RMI provides the following equipment for your program: tents, stoves, group cooking equipment, fuel, climbing ropes and anchors, and blue bags (for solid waste disposal).

Every guide on your climb will carry rescue equipment and a first aid kit. Each climb has two-way radios and a cell phone for emergency contact.

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MEALS

On the Mt. Shuksan - Sulphide Glacier you will need 3 mountain lunches, 3 dinners, and 3 breakfasts while on the mountain.

OVERVIEW

Nutrition while training and nutrition while climbing are two very different things. You may follow a specific nutrition regimen while training to aid your desired outcomes, but once it comes to the climb, calories are what count the most. While climbing, you are trying to maximize energy and performance over a short period of time.

Our food priorities when climbing are:

  • a high-calorie intake
  • a variety of flavor profiles (sweet, salty, sour, etc.)
  • durability/packability
  • enjoyment

Caloric requirements will vary widely from climber to climber based on physical size and metabolism. It is important for you to know what your body requires. One of the normal, albeit disconcerting, adjustments to altitude is a slight loss of appetite. Bring food you enjoy. If you don't love a food at home, you certainly won't like it on the mountain!

Ample hot and cold water will be provided for your meals, drinks, and refilling water bottles. When planning your menu, don't bring any items that require extensive preparation, cooking, or simmering. We are able to provide you with boiling water but do not have the ability to actually cook food items.

Things to keep in mind as you plan your meals:

  • How much space the food will take in your backpack
  • How well the food will hold up throughout the trip in your backpack
  • How much waste does the food produce

Consider repacking items into smaller Ziploc bags to minimize the space in your pack. Your food will get crammed into your backpack, jostled around, exposed to extreme temperatures, and even sat on (by you, of course!). What holds up better in these conditions, two slices of bread or a bagel? When packing, it is essential to consider the waste you will produce on the climb; after all, you have to carry it off the mountain. We've already mentioned repacking items to minimize space. Repacking items can also eliminate waste!

MOUNTAIN LUNCHES

Mountain lunches, aka snacks, are eaten during short breaks throughout the day. We continually snack to keep our energy levels up while we climb. We typically take rest breaks every hour or so to adjust our clothing layers, eat, and hydrate. Avoid packing any items that require preparation or hot water at each break. In terms of quantity, aim to bring 1 lb. of climbing food per day. We suggest using snack or sandwich size Ziploc bags to portion out snack food.

The importance of having foods that you genuinely enjoy cannot be overstated. Eating properly is the key to maintaining strength while in the mountains. To combat the loss of appetite at altitude, we aim to have a variety of foods that stimulate the whole palate, from sweet to sour to salty. See the sample menu and packing list below for ideas!

 

Mountain Lunch Foods

 

• Cold pizza • Bagel sandwich • Tortilla wraps • Chips
• Trail mix • Peanut butter pretzels • Chocolate covered pretzels • Apple slices
• Crackers • Cookies • Candy bars • Protein bars
  • Chewy candy • Veggies and hummus  
PRO TIP:
Feel fancy! Charcuterie (cured meat, cheese, and crackers) makes a great mountain lunch!

 

Breakfast

Single-serving instant oatmeal, Cream-of-Wheat, or granola make a good main course fare. A variety of granola bars, pastries, fruit, and a hot drink mix of coffee, tea, cocoa, or cider are suggested. Plan on eating a breakfast that tastes good and that you find filling. See the sample menu and packing list below for additional ideas!

Breakfast Food Items

 

• Instant hot cereal (Oatmeal, Cream-of-Wheat, Cream-of-Rice, etc.)
• Granola or cereal
• Freeze-dried breakfast (Mountain House, Peak Refuel, Mountain Zora, and Katadyn's Alpine Aire all have breakfast options)
• Add-ins such as individual servings of peanut butter or honey, raisins or craisins, or a few tablespoons of powdered milk can put your mountain cereal game over the top.
PRO TIP:
Think outside the box. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (on bagels) or ramen make great breakfast options!

Dinner

This meal will give your body the initial fuel it needs during your summit attempt. Spend time considering your options so that you go to bed nourished and ready for the climb ahead of you. Freeze-dried entrees are very convenient mountain dinners. Pay attention to the caloric quantity – it varies from meal to meal. See the sample menu and packing list below for more ideas!

Dinner Food Items

 

 

• Freeze-dried entrée (Mountain House, Peak Refuel, Mountain Zora, and Katadyn's Alpine Aire have a wide variety of options)
• Instant soups (including Cup-o'Noodles and ramen)
• Cold pizza
• Cold fried chicken
• Pasta salad
• Bagel sandwich
PRO TIP:
Have a tasting party of freeze-dried entrees to test them out before your climb.

BEVERAGES

Staying hydrated on the climb is crucial. You will have access to ample cold water while at camp for drinking and replenishing water bottles. When climbing, you will want to ration how much water you drink at each rest break to ensure you have water throughout the entirety of your climb. You can expect breaks to occur approximately every hour or so of climbing.

Just as with food, it is important to have a variety of things to drink that excite your taste buds. Drink mixes such as Gatorade, Kool-Aid, Liquid IV, Nuun, etc., are great for flavor. Hot beverage options are also an important component to consider while at camp. Coffee, tea, cocoa, and cider are great ways to warm up in the evening before bed, when you wake up for your alpine start on summit day, and to recharge once back at camp.

Climbing Beverages

• Drink Mixes (Gatorade, Kool-Aid, Liquid IV, and Nuun are great for flavor variety)
• Instant Coffee (Starbucks Via is a great option for being pre-portioned)
• Assorted Tea
• Instant Cocoa
• Instant Cider
PRO TIP:
Skip the water bladder and practice rationing your water while training.
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