I'd been eyeing up Sharkfin tower since my first trip to Boston Basin earlier this summer. With a perfect Saturday forecast and time to enjoy it, Jake and I planned to wake up early and make a day of it. We left town at 4am, left the trailhead at 7am, and made it into Boston basin around 8:30 as the sun was just starting to peek over Sahale.
The approach for Sharkfin is the same as the start of Quien Sabe Glacier, so we retraced the steps which Kate and I had taken about 4 weeks earlier, getting onto the glacier's edge about 100 feet higher this time. We traversed until underneath Sharkfin Tower and found the approach gully. Unfortunately, late season meant that there was no snow to speak of—only loose scree. We stuck close together to avoid hitting each other with rocks and soon made it to the sloping terrace below the tower. A little more effort got us to the notch at the base of the Southeast Ridge a bit before 11am.
We climbed the first two pitches of the ridge route, which were quite easy, short, and fun. From there, we set up an anchor and rappelled down the Southeast face. There were fixed bolts at the top of the first pitch, so we rappelled from these down to the base of the climb and set up an anchor for the belay. The first pitch was by far the best—it had some delicate face and thin crack moves high above the Boston Glacier and its open crevasses. The second pitch was still a bit dirty and less straightforward in terms of route-finding, but was still quite fun.
We finished the face and then simul-climbed to the summit for some views before scrambling back, rappelling down, and retracing our steps back to the car. We were back around 6pm. This was a great, casual car-to-car outing inthe gorgeous North Cascades.