Washington - North Cascades

Being the only truly glaciated mountain range in the lower 48, Washington’s Cascades offer beautiful mountaineering and alpine climbing opportunities. Highlights include the heavily glaciated Mount Baker, the aesthetic rock ridges in Boston Basin, and complex Mt. Shucksan massif. 


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Guide Fees: ALPINE OBJECTIVE, per day, per person

1 person cost : $550.00

2 People/person cost: $400.00

3 people/person cost: $330.00

4 people/person cost: $285.00

5 people/person cost: $250.00

6 people/person cost: $230.00

Additional cost: Guide travel costs on a case by case basis. Some objectives (grade V, or custom in-a-day style itineraries will require higher 1.5-2x the standard guide fees)

SEASON: June- September

 

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Example objectives/Trips: 

  • 5 day Mountaineering courses on Mount Baker

  • 1 day alpine rock climb on Snoqualmie Pass

  • 2 day climb of Mt. Shucksan's Fisher Chimneys

  • 3 day trip on the Torment Forbidden Traverse, Forbidden’s West Ridge, or the ultra classic North Ridge of Forbidden

  • 3 day climb of the North Arete of Eldorado

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Getting there:

All of the mountaineering and climbing in Washington that I guide is a few hour drive from Seattle. You’ll want to fly into Seattle, and a rental car is a must to get the somewhat remote trail heads.

 
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Accommodation :

For multi-day trips in the North Cascades, Mt. Baker, and Mt. Shucksan we will sleep in lightweight tents. There is a huge variety of accommodation options when we come out of the mountains, and it is best to leave the booking to the last minute to allow for trip flexibility.

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the Climbing

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Mt Baker via the Coleman Deming - 2 - 3 day ITINERARIES - max 4:1 ratio

The Coleman Deming is the standard route up Mount Baker, the Easton Glacier is the second standard route. While this is technically a walk up, it does require glacier travel and potential crevasse navigation depending on the time of year. This is a great beginner route for getting into glacier travel and for practice training for Mount Rainier. Even for the experienced mountaineer one enjoys a fun snow walk up a great Cascade Volcano. Along the way one enjoys great views of the towering Black Buttes which are crumbly towers with hanging glaciers. Climbers often use this as a descent route from the North Ridge, the Coleman Headwall, or the Pencil Thin Roman Mustache. You gain slightly over 7,000 feet of elevation with a distance of about  11 miles round trip. 


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Mt Baker via the North Ridge - 3 day ITINERARIES - Max 4:1 ratio

The North Ridge of Mount Baker is an iconic technical mountaineering route up the classic North Ridge which rises nearly 4,000' directly to the summit of the highest peak in the North Cascades. It requires glacier travel, crevasse navigation, steep snow climbing, and ice climbing up to grade 4 in difficulty. The standard descent is to return to camp via the Coleman Deming. This is an excellent introductory route for those transitioning from less technical glacier routes to steeper more committing routes. You gain slightly over 7,000 feet of elevation with a distance of about  11 miles round trip. 



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Mt shucksan the Fisher Chimneys or the Sulphide Glacier

2-3 day ITINERARIES - max 4:1 ratio

The mountain is a huge, sprawling mass of ridges, pinnacles, and glaciers, almost its own sub-range. Although the rugged northern side of the peak gives it its fame, the easiest route to the summit climbs the vast Sulphide Glacier from the south, starting a long, long way from the Mount Baker Highway. The Sulphide Glacier rolls right up to the 700-foot high jagged summit pyramid, an easy scramble on steep, loose rock. In early season, the Sulphide is a great ski run. 

The easiest and most popular northern route is the Fisher Chimneys route, a devious path winding its way up the north and west slopes of the peak that can be a routefinding challenge but is mostly class 3 climbing or easier. Other routes can be very difficult, including serious ice climbing on the spectacular hanging glaciers that line the peaks frontage to the deep cirque of the Nooksack River. 


Mount Forbidden’s West Ridge - 2-3 day ITINERARIES

The West Ridge of Forbidden is included amongst the 50 Classic Climbs of North America. Expect stunning views, a beautiful base camp, solid rock, and an unforgettable summit. This climb includes camping in Boston Basin in North Cascades National Park - just past treeline with spectacular views of Torment, Forbidden, Sahale and Johannesburg peaks. The West Ridge is a long climb, 8-14 hours from camp and is mostly on a very exposed and classic alpine rock ridge. This route includes climbing up to 5.6, steep snow, some minor glaciation, and tons of adventure! There is also plenty of other climbs to be experienced out of Boston Basin that combine with the West Ridge nicely.


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Mount Forbidden’s North Ridge 2-5 day ITINERARIES.

If there is any route that is more spectacular than the West Ridge of Forbidden in Washington, it has to be the North Ridge of the same peak! This highly sought after route climbs out of the remote Boston Glacier, up several pitches of steep snow/alpine ice, to gain the magnificent rock arete of the North Ridge. Often, this is where we will bivy on route, before climbing the immaculate granite to the summit of Forbidden. Climbed as an “up and over” we will then descend via the West Ridge.