We offer several excellent climbing programs in Washington State. These peaks are located in National Parks, surrounded by old growth forest, and are heavily glaciated. Climbing these mountains involves a one-day approach through the forest, then a few days climbing on glaciers using technical climbing equipment such as the ice axe, crampons, and climbing rope. Known as the Alps of the United States, he best months to climb in Washington are July, August, and September. We offer mountaineering courses as well as summit climbs on these majestic peaks.
Situated in the North Cascades, Mt. Shuksan is perhaps the most photographed mountain in the world. The approach through the old growth Douglas fir trees gives way to high alpine meadows before climbers arrive at the Sulfide glacier. Here we review mountaineering techniques and then make our ascent up the Sulfide glacier and the summit pyramid of Shuksan.
We regularly organize custom programs for private groups. We are happy to accommodate your program dates, as well as other specific requests related to the itinerary, amenities, and group size. Please contact us if you would like to know more about custom programs.
Day 1: Meet in Seattle in the evening, orientation and check equipment, prepare for an early morning drive to Mt. Shuksan.
Day 2: Drive from Seattle to the trailhead. Hike through the old growth forest and alpine meadows to reach camp at the foot of the glacier.
Day 3: Review climbing techniques; go to bed early in preparation for an alpine start.
Day 4: We awake around 2 AM, and depart before dawn climbing up the glaciated slopes to the summit pyramid. At the summit pyramid we take off our crampons and climb the 5th class rock several pitches to the summit. From the summit we have spectacular views of Mt. Baker and the North Cascades. We descend the pyramid and return to camp, packing our things and then hiking down to the trailhead. We drive back to Seattle and conclude the program with a meal in one of Seattle’s many great restaurants.
July 31 – August 3
August 28 – 31
September 4 – 7
September 18 – 21
Mt. Shuksan Climb: $1,295
Balance due 90 days prior to departure
• Ice Axe: A short ice axe no longer than 60 cm.
• Crampons: General mountaineering crampons
• Trekking Poles: Adjustable poles for the trek to base camp
• Climbing harness: An alpine climbing harness
• Carabineers: 4 locking and 2 non locking
• Belay / Rappel device: For rappelling or belaying climbers
• Helmet: Must fit over a thick hat
• Light hiking boots or trekking shoes: For the trek to base camp.
• Mountaineering Boots: A double plastic or insulated synthetic boot.
• Socks: Minimum 3 pair thick mountaineering socks and 3 pair liner socks
• Short Underwear: 1 pair of synthetic short underwear
• Long Underwear: 1-2 pair lightweight long underwear pants and shirts. 1 pair of heavy expedition weight long underwear.
• Soft Shell Jacket: A hooded jacket
• Soft Shell pants: For trekking and climbing
• Insulated Jacket: Primaloft or Down
• Hard Shell Jacket: To be worn in wet conditions
• Hard Shell Pants: To be worn in wet conditions, these pants should have full side zippers.
• Headlamp: Bring extra batteries
• Warm Hat: A warm fleece or wool hat.
• Balaclava: to cover your face and neck on windy days.
• Sun hat: A baseball style sun camp.
• Buff: 1-2 of these to wear around your neck & face to block the wind, UV rays, dust.
• Glacier Glasses: wrap around style sunglasses with dark lenses
• Goggles: With dark lenses.
• Soft Shell Gloves: 1 pair
• Shell gloves with insulated liner: 1 pair
• Expedition Backpack: A 65+ liter internal frame back pack.
• Sleeping Bag: Rated to at least -0 °F. Down is preferable over synthetic.
• Compression stuff sacks: for reducing volume for your sleeping bag and down jacket.
• Self Inflating pad: A full length air mattress
• Closed Cell foam pad: Full length is best
• Headlamp: Bring a spare set of batteries
• Cup: 16oz. minimum
• Bowl: ½ liter minimum capacity
• Spoon: Plastic (lexan)
• Sunscreen: 2 tubes, SPF 40 or stronger
• Lipscreen: 2 sticks, SPF 30 or stronger
• Water bottles: 2 bottles with 1 liter capacity each
• Water Purification System: Tablets or Steripen
• Water Bottle Parkas: To keep your water from freezing
• Pee Bottle: 1 liter capacity minimum
• Pee Funnel: For Women
• Knife: Optional
• Toiletry Bag: Toothpaste, Toothbrush, baby wipes, etc.
• Hand Sanitizer: 1 small bottle
• Trash Compactor bags (4): To line stuff sacks and separate gear
• Camera: lightweight with extra batteries
• Travel Clothes: For days in Seattle.
• Small duffel bag: to store items in the hotel
• Small Personal First Aid Kit: Athletic tape, band aids, Ibuprofen, Moleskin, blister care products, personal medications, cough drops.
‣ Acetazolamide (Diamox) for altitude illness
‣ Antibiotics such as Ciprofloxin or Azithromycin for gastro intestinal or respiratory illness
‣ Ibuprofen for muscle soreness
‣ Pepto Bismol for loose stool
‣ Excedrin for headaches
‣ Anti-nausea medications.
• Climbing Snacks:
‣ Electrolyte Replacement Drink Mix: Bring a supply for 4 days such as Nuun.
‣ Energy Gel: Single serving gel packs such as GU, Clifshot, Powergel, etc.)
‣ Energy Bars: Power bar, Cliff bar, etc.
‣ Candy Bars: Snickers, Mars, Twix, Milky Way, etc.
‣ Hard Candy: 1 cup
‣ Crackers: 1 box
Madison Mountaineering is recognized for well thought out strategy in high altitude climbing expeditions, as well as high-quality service throughout. Because we have two decades of experience in the planning and coordination of mountaineering expeditions, our reputation is excellent. We strive to make each expedition the best possible experience for our climbers and focus on our 3 primary goals of success in reaching the summit, returning safely, and having fun!
Our guides are some of the best and most experienced in the industry, having a strong grasp of technical climbing, expedition, and high altitude experience, along with strong interpersonal skills. Our teams are small and equipped with the best support available to ensure the highest chance of success. We are renowned for our comfortable base camps, high-quality food, first-rate communications, and medical support services, all of which are overseen by a professional member of our team.
Most of our climbers have either climbed with us before, been referred by a friend who has climbed with us, or met one of our teams while attempting another peak and decided to join us for their next expedition. We work hard to facilitate safe, successful, and enjoyable expeditions for all of our climbers. Our track record and past climber testimonials prove we are not only experts in our field, but we also love what we do!