Permits: Free (emailed) FS overnight permit
Route Name: Shannon Ridge/Sulphide glacier
Total Miles: 15.00 mi
Gear: Glacier and some trad gear
From Trail Head to Camp: 4.5 hours
From Camp to Summit: 7.0 hours
From Summit to Camp: 2.5 hours
From Camp to Trail Head: 3.5 hours
You know those times when you go on a trip with great people and somehow everything gets done without you "mom-ing" the group? Well, here is that trip, in Yelp review format:
Five star guide service! Highly recommend the Claire/Sumo guide service!
To get us started, I emailed them with some research and dates I was interested in. They jumped on board pretty quickly to join the adventure. We were all able to take Friday off, and chose to do the Shannon Ridge to Sulphide Glacier route, as it seemed in our wheelhouse.
We met on Friday and saw several other guided groups head out. While my guides didn't provide boots, they did bring the rope for us to share. We got up to our camp at 6300 ft about 4.5 hours from the trailhead. We set up camp at one of the most picturesque spots I could think of, and we had a relaxing dinner as we prepped for tomorrow, practicing knots and discussing our plans. Sumo pulled out all the stops and made us all mountain hot toddys!
We got a bit of a late start on Saturday, beginning at 7am from camp. The weather was beautiful as we climbed up the Sulphide glacier and clear views of the summit block as we crossed one snow bridge. The last snow up to the summit block was extremely icy, as sun had not hit it yet. We had to use the picks on our ice axes to climb up the steep section, but finally reached the rocks.
Claire led all of the summit block climbs and Sumo and I followed up. Throughout the climbs, we watched the clouds rise up the glacier and blow through and around us. Sometimes completely clouding us, sometimes providing glimpses of mountains. Our approach to the summit took a little longer than planned, but we reached the top, by 3pm and had some summit snacks.
We rappelled down the gulley and quickly hiked back to camp around 6:30pm. We made some more food and ate quickly while breaking down camp, realizing it will be a late night.
We hiked out by headlamp, and didn't make it back to the trailhead until 11pm. One of the longest days I've had in the mountains, but such a beautiful day with just a little bit of extra perseverance. Throughout all of it, the Claire/Sumo guide service provided gummies, snacks, cleaned up garbage, and carried the rope most of the way (I was supposed to carry it down but my knee twinged on the way down at the treeline). But most importantly when things got longer, and more tired than we thought, I truly appreciated their positive attitude and good conversation.