Fisher Chimeys-SE Ridge August 8, 2017

August 14, 2017 Posted by: Climbing Rangers
Fisher Chimneys – SE Ridge Summit Pyramid

The Fischer Chimney route on Mount Shuksan is in great shape. Permits are required camp in the park above Lake Ann and can be obtained at the Glacier Public Service Center. Blue Bags can also be obtained in Glacier, as there are no toilets on this route and human waste must be packed out.

The chimneys are dry and snow free, many rappel anchors are in place. Winnies Slide is still steep snow (rather than exposed ice) at this time. Accessing the Upper Curtis Glacier, above Winnies Slide, has approximately 50 feet of blue ice exposed. Two tools did not feel necessary for this section, but as the season progresses more ice protection may be indicated. Once on the Upper Curtis, crevasses are easily navigated to Hell’s Highway, which is also in great shape.

The summit pyramid's central gully is snow free at this time. The south east ridge is a great alternative if one is prepared for mid-5th class rock climbing (3 pitches), especially if the gully is crowded. Good rappel anchors in place on climbers left side of gully – set up for single 60 m rope.
Water can be found at bivy sites below the chimneys (very small seep), and also above and below Winnies Slide, with the best water source at the site above Winnies Slide. These sites also have snow free bivies. If the bivies are crowded, one could camp on the snow at the top of the chimneys.

Curtis glaciers and Fisher Chimneys:
Curtis Glaciers

Upper Hell's Highway:
Hells Highway

Exposed ice accessing the upper Curtis:
Exposed ice accessing the upper Curtis

2 Comments Comments icon

  1. Climbing Rangers
    September 08, 2017 at 10:40

    Hi Derek, As far as a selection of protection for the SE Ridge, a single set up to 2" including cams and nuts is usually sufficient. Those who are less experienced on alpine rock may want more gear. Refer to regional guidebooks for exact recommendations. The latest report we've heard indicated that there is no exposed glacial ice yet on Winnies Slide or the Hells Highway, but people may want two tools for added security. One strategy people sometimes use is to have two tools for the leader, and a single axe for the followers. Hope that helps, enjoy your climb!

  2. Derek
    September 04, 2017 at 05:50

    A group of friends and I are planning an ascent of Mt. Shuksan via Fisher Chimneys (in the window of Sept. 13-15). Thank you for putting these reports together, it's great to have first-hand accounts. Based on this report, and your 8/17 report of the Sulphide route, I had a couple questions: - To be prepared to summit via the south east ridge as an alternative to the gully, what rock protection would you recommend including in the rack? - It looks like there may be more and more exposed ice on the the Curtis glacier and in hell's highway. Would you recommend a pair of ice tools over a single axe per climber? Our group is a mix of experienced hikers, ice/rock climbers and mountaineers, with a few who are new to mountaineering.

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Last updated: August 14, 2017

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