Mt. Shuksan via the White Salmon Glacier

Mt. Shuksan boasts some of the most impressive icefalls, faces, and towers this side of Alaska.

Difficulty rating and Skill requirements

Difficulty Rating System Explained

Overall Difficulty Level: Difficult

Skills Required:  Advanced skiing ability and prior ski touring experience 

Fitness Level: Very strenuous due to skitouring with big overnight packs

  • Category: Ski
  • Type: Guided
  • Ratio: 3:1,6:2

* Required Fields

Mt. Shuksan is an iconic peak of the North Cascades and boasts some of the most impressive icefalls, faces and towers this side of Alaska.  The mountain combines world class scenery with a seemingly endless variety of ski routes from introductory ski mountaineering tours to extreme descents and everything in between.  The White Salmon tour provides all the elements that make Mt. Shuksan great: a spectacular setting, long descents, and bona fide ski mountaineering challenges throughout. 

Our camp will be on the fringe of the White Salmon Glacier with jaw dropping views of the very active Hanging Glacier.  This location will position us for our summit push and ultimately a 6000' ski descent on the Sulphide Glacier, Crystal Glacier, upper reaches of the Hanging Glacier, Upper Curtis Glacier and down the White Salmon Glacier to the valley below.  Altough the White Salmon is one of the most direct routes to the summit and the distance may be relatively short this is a big mountain with enough transitions, route finding issues, and decision points to merit the interest of new or seasoned ski mountaineers alike.

Suggested Itinerary:

Day 1:  The trip will begin at the White Salmon day lodge in the Mt. Baker ski area.  From there we will travel out the White Salmon Creek valley towards the toe of the White Salmon Glacier.  One of the great benefits of this trips is the access with a reasonably quick approach to the very rugged terrain of the northwest face.  By early afternoon we will have our camp set and if time allows, possibly go for a short ski tour with light packs.

Day 2:  This will be a big day with over 5000' of climbing and a long ski descent so we will have an early start.  From camp we will tour up the White Salmon Glacier to the steep headwall called "Winnies Slide".  This slope is over 50 degrees near the top and often requires crampons and an ice axe.  From the top of Winnies Slide you will be stepping on to the Upper Curtis Glacier, continuing to the Hanging Glacier then ultimately to the saddle between the Hanging Glacier and the Crystal Glacier.  From here it will be a traverse over the Crystal and Sulphide Glaciers towards the base of the summit pyramid.  If conditions allow, we will deposit our skis and climb to the summit.  The ski descent will follow the uphill track with a pleasant mix of lower angle terrain with some steep sections for nearly 6000' of fall line skiing to the valley floor.  This will be a physically demanding day with incredible views and fantastic skiing that does not disappoint.




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Pro Ski and Mountain Service is our retail specialty store. It has been located in North Bend, WA since 1999.

The past trips and courses have had a large influence on what we sell. Many of our Pro Guiding customers come on trips and courses with gear they purchased from our store. Not only do we want our clients to have the right gear for the job; we also receive direct feedback from them while they are using it in the field. Trust us - if the gear does not work - we won't sell it.


o 1 Bottom - midweight or lightweight
o 1 or 2 Tops - midweight or lightweight
o Sock Liners - 2 or 3 pair
o Ski Socks - 2 pair
o Windshirt, Soft Shell, Fleece - only one of these is necessary
o Schoeller™ type pants - soft shell
o Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Jacket
o Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Pants
o Softshell Ski Touring Pants
o Warm Hat - should cover ears
o Sun Hat - baseball type or visor
o Lightweight Gloves
o Ski Gloves
o Down or Synthetic Jacket
o Internal Frame Pack - 50 Liter (3100 cu in.) minimum
o Sleeping Bag - down or synthetic, 15º F to 20º F minimum
o Compression Sack - for sleeping bag           
o Sleeping Pad - closed cell foam or self inflating
o Headlamp - lightweight LED recommended
o Water Bottles - 1 or 2 liters, wide mouth
o Bowl or Cup
o Utensils
o Small Knife
o Sunglasses - adequate for snow travel
o Goggles
o Sunscreen - SPF >25, waterproof
o Lip Balm - SPF 15+
o Lighter
o Personal Toiletries - toothbrush, toothpaste, waterless hand cleaner, etc.
o Small Personal 1st aid kit - blister repair (Compeed™), aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.
o Skis - Alpine Touring or Telemark
o Ski Boots - Alpine Touring or Telemark – no downhill boots
o Ski Poles - telescopic poles work well, but not required
o Climbing Skins
o Ski Crampons - THESE ARE REQUIRED!
o  Ski Brakes
o Transceiver - single frequency,  457 kHz only
o Shovel - compact, lightweight, metal blade preferred
o Probe - dedicated probe only, ski poles do not suffice
o Ice Axe - 55-70 cm length, lightweight
o Boot Crampons – Aluminum is recommended for this trip
o Climbing Harness - lightweight, BD Alpine Bod style (no padding)
o 2 Locking Biners - (1) large HMS style and (1) reg. locker
o 3 Non-locking Biners - any style, we recommend wire gates 
o 1 Cordelettes - 6 mm diameter, 6 meter lengths, untied
o 1 Sewn Sling - nylon or spectra, double-length
o Camera - we’d like some shots for the PGS website!
o Ear Plugs - essential for sound sleep
o Camp Booties
o Thermos - vacuum type
o Note Pad and Pencil - Rite-in-the-rain brand waterproof notebook works
o Compass - adjustable declination a must
o Altimeter - Suunto watch works well
o Map Case - large zip-loc will suffice
o Maps - contact guiding office for appropriate quadrangles
o Collapsible Water Canteen - good for storing snowmelt at camp
o Warm Socks - to sleep in
o Lightweight Bivy/Tarp - handy with a floorless tent
o Foot Powder
GROUP GEAR PROVIDED BY PGS   *Please contact the guiding office if you prefer to bring your own gear in place of any of our group gear.
o Tents
o Stoves
o Fuel
o Cooking Pots
o Rope
o Technical Group Gear, VHF radio or SAT phone
o Group 1st Aid Kit

Should I tip my guide? And how much should I tip them? Although tipping is not a requirement it is considered standard practice in the guiding industry and is appreciated by our guides. We generally recommend roughly 10%-15% of your course or trip cost or flat price tip that you are comfortable with.