Femme Beckey Expedition: May 16th-June 8th, 2023
Written by: Miriam Caron, July 2023
Expedition Members: Lizzie Wenger, Miriam Caron, Sierra Smith, & Ella Meyer

The Final Mountain: Mt. Shuksan via the Sulphide Glacier
June 6th-7th

Alpine Start by Lizzie Wenger

After securing permits in town, Sierra, Lizzie, and I once again loaded up our packs with our alpine trad climbing gear, snow protection, and backpacking necessities. With heavy packs secured to our backs, we headed into the North Cascades National Park. 

After bushwhacking up the Shannon Ridge, we made it up a steep slope which gave us a breathtaking view of a deep valley surrounded by peaks. We then slogged our way to high camp at 7,500 feet. It was completely worth it––at the base of the Sulphide glacier we had our best views of the trip yet. As sunset fell on Mt. Baker, it turned a rosy pink and the entire North Cascade Range became a dream-like lavender. 

Miriam & Sierra on Sulphide glacier with Mt Baker in the backround

Sunset dance at high camp

High camp on the Sulphide glacier 35mm

The next morning, we roped up at camp and made a smooth ascent up the glacier without placing any gear. We then transitioned onto rock where Sierra bravely led five pitches of low fifth class, but highly exposed rock up the Southeast ridge followed by Lizzie on a fixed line and finally I cleaned (removed) the gear.  We summitted around 10am at 9,131 feet where we could see as far north as the Canadian Rockies. Unlike Mt. Baker, on summit day we had the mountain completely to ourselves.

Lizzie leading up the Sulphide glacier

Femme Beckey 3.0

Sierra leading up the summit pyramid

Lizzie belaying on the summit pyramid

Summit picture

After an involved repel back down to the snow, we began our exhausted trek back to the trailhead. When we arrived back at camp, we savored our last dinner together on a glacier before having a power nap and packing up our camp. 

To celebrate summiting our last mountain we stopped just before we reached the tree line and pulled out a mini bottle of Fireball whiskey. We passed it around, taking swigs and cheers-ing to the wild characters and amazing wilderness we were so lucky to spend the past three weeks with. We arrived back at the cars a bit past midnight making it a 22-hour day. By far our longest and our best.

Miriam and Lizzie

View from Sulphide by Lizzie Wenger