Mount Shuksan - Fisher Chimneys, August 2002
Mount Shuksan as seen from Mount Ann in Febuary 2005 with Fisher Chimneys at midground left and lower and upper Curtis Glacier at bottom and center.

Following a grueling 16hr day on Sherpa Peak the day before, Tom and I left for Mt. Shuksan late in the afternoon for one last attempt on the mountain in what was forecasted, and what we sincerely hoped to be PERFECT WEATHER. We parked at the Austin Pass trailhead this time and quickly made the short 3 mile hike over to Lake Ann. The last few stragglers returning from their trip to the summit were just clearing out as we approached the lake. Before long, we had the entire area to ourselves and looked forward to not having anyone else on the route with us tomorrow. The sun went down, the wind picked up and we got cold. But at least the otherwise relentless mosquitos were kept at bay. (Photos: SV)

Click thumbnails below to enlarge...
Sunrise on Mount Baker
The orange glow of sunrise on the slopes of Mt. Baker.
Tom in chimneys
Tom sports the latest trend in mountaineering fashion...the "Towel Look".

The Fisher Chimneys are really not much more than a series of loose and vegetated class 3 ledges and gullies. The "trail" is quite exposed in places (features such as "Fat Man's Misery" for example) and while caution is obviously required, the route isn't difficult.
Looking north
Looking north at Tomyhoi and American Border Peak from the first snow above the chimneys.
Tom and Mount Baker
Tom nears the top of upper Curtis Glacier, directly beneath a huge rock wall.

We easily walked up Winnie's Slide (steep and icy in late season) to a flat area on the glacier and roped up. A cold wind was chilling us to the bone and so we didn't waste any time.
View of Hell's Highway
We crossed a couple interesting snow bridges early on and had nothing but smooth sailing on our way to Hell's Highway.
Steeper snow on Hell's Highway
40 - 45 degree snow was encountered going up Hell's Highway.
Tom climbs Hell's Highway
Tom ascends Hell's Highway.
Tomyhoi Peak
A close-up of Tomyhoi Peak from upper-Sulphide Glacier.
Summit pyramid
The summit pyramid at last...and free of clouds for a change! We could see a guided party of two making their way up the last portion of the Sulphide Glacier to the base of the pyramid. Not so crowded today!
Summit scramble
The last bit of 3rd and 4th class rock in the main gully before reaching the summit.
On summit
Finally! We did it!

Was it worth the previous 5 attempts? Who knows? I was just happy to finally have the peak off my list. What about the route? Though not particularly technical in nature, the Fisher Chimneys still makes for a fine alpine outing with plenty of variety. I definitely recommend it over the comparatively boring Sulphide Glacier and as an alternative to those not interested in battling brush on the approach to the North Face. Plus, with names like Fat Man's Misery, Winnie's Slide and Hell's Highway, how could you resist climbing this route?
Summit panorama
Summit panorama.
        | close page |                                                                                                          Last Updated: Aug. 21, 2002 | 2002 - 2007