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GUIDED ALPINE CLIMBING WASHINGTON

The North Cascades offers the best alpine climbing in the lower 48. Adventurous approaches, rugged glaciers and aesthetic technical peaks define the region. 

There are tons of options for climbers at every level. Below is a list of some of the more classic climbs sorted by difficulty. Let us know what your experience level is and we can suggest the perfect climb for you!

All guides are AMGA Certified Rock Guides.


Best Season

Snow, Ice and Glacier Climbs: May - July

Rock Climbs: June - September


Rates

Rates are based off of a ratio of the number of climbers to the number of guides. We can accommodate different ratios depending on how technical a climb is. All routes listed, and similar to those in the Intermediate and Advanced section below have a max ratio of 2:1. Prices are per person per day

Day Trips:

  • 1:1 $465/day

  • 2:1 $315/day

  • 3:1 $285/day

  • 4:1 $260/day

  • 5:1 $235/day


Overnight Trips:

  • 1:1 $495/day

  • 2:1 $325/day

  • 3:1 $300/day

  • 4:1 $275/day

  • 5:1 $250/day

NOTE: This program is offered through an arrangement that we have with the American Alpine Institute. AAI holds the appropriate commercial permitting for this program. 

 
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BEGINNER ALPINE CLIMBS

Mt Baker, Coleman Demming

3 Days

Grade II

Steep Snow and Glaciers

This is the standard route on Mt Baker the third highest peak in Washington. The Coleman Demming offers an introduction to snow and glacier travel.


Eldorado Peak, East Ridge

2 Days

Grade II

Steep Snow and Glaciers

Eldorado is described as the Queen of the Cascades. The views are incredible, offering vantages on Forbidden, the Pickets, Baker and the entire Central Cascades. The East Ridge is a good introduction to steep snow and glacier travel.

Sahale Peak, Quien Sabe Glacier

2 Days

Grade II

4th class, Glacier Travel

Sahale Peak is exceedingly popular, the Quien Sabe route is a great way to escape some of the crowds on the Sahale Arm and get experience on a glacier.

Mt Shuksan, Sulphide Glacier

2-3 Days

Grade II

4th class, Steep Snow and Glaciers

Starting up from Baker Lake, you weave through forests and complex alpine ridges to get to base camp. The Glacier offers a long, moderate romp to the base of the summit pyramid. The 800' high summit pyramid offers great easy rock climbing or mixed climbing depending on the time of year. 

Sloan Peak, Corkscrew Route

2 Days

Grade II

4th class, Steep Snow

Sloan Peak is an impressive sentinel off the mountain loop highway. The corkscrew route narrowly weaves its way up through towering big walls, allowing for moderate passage to an impressive summit.

Silver Star, Silver Star Glacier

2 Days

Grade II

Steep Snow, Glaciers, 4th class

This is a moderate route with an extremely exposed summit block. The glacier is relatively moderate until late season, once all the snow melts it becomes a moderate ice climb. Silver Star a good introduction to steep snow and glacier travel.

 
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INTERMEDIATE ALPINE CLIMBS

Mt Shuksan, Fisher Chimneys

2-3 Days

Grade II

4th Class, Steep Snow and Glaciers

Starting near the Mt Baker Ski Area, the Fisher Chimneys route is a well known alpine endeavor. Depending of the time of year, climbers can expect to encounter steep snow climbing and at times moderate ice climbing.

Mt Buckner, North Face

3-4 Days

Grade II

Moderate Ice, Steep Snow and Glaciers

North of Boston peak, lying on the outskirts of the Boston Glacier resides this remote sentinel. The approach to Buckner requires climbing up and over Sahale Peak. 

Mt Baker, North Ridge

2-3 Days

Grade III 

AI3, Steep Snow and Glaciers

Originally climbed by Fred Beckey in the late 40's, this still challenging line is maybe the most classic route on Mt Baker. It offer experience on steep snow and ice, a good training ground for larger objectives. 

Dorado Needle, NE Ridge

3 Days

Grade II

5.3, Steep Snow and Glaciers

The approach to the Dorado Needle is in itself a classic high alpine glacier traverse. The route climbs excellent and moderate metamorphic granite. The summit is formed by a proud granite tower that makes for one of the more dramatic summits in the range! Can be combined with other objectives in the Eldorado basin.

Forbidden Peak, West Ridge

2-3 Days

Grade III

5.6, Steep Snow and Glaciers

The West Ridge is a 50 classics route, and for a good reason. Forbidden Peaks pyramid shape makes it one of the most asthetic mountains in the lower 48. The climbing and rock quality on the West Ridge is exceptional. The exposure as the ridge drops away on either side of you is unmatched by any other 5.6 ridge climb.

Mt Triumph, NE Ridge

2-3 Days

Grade III

5.6, Steep Snow

Triumph lies just outside the Southern Pickets. The approach is beautiful and the climb is incredibly long and remote. 

Mt Goode, NE Buttress

3-4 Days

Grade III+

5.6, Steep Snow and Glaciers

Mt Goode is the tallest peak in North Cascades National Park. It lies deep in the heart of the park and requires a long arduous approach. The NE buttress is visible from dozens of miles away. It is an incredibly long feature that offers mostly moderate, blocky climbing. It also offers a taste of glacier and steep snow climbing. 

Dorado Needle, East Ridge

3 Days

Grade III

5.7, Steep Snow and Glaciers

The East ridge of Dorado Needle is a step up in length and difficulty from the standard route. The route is generally very good and even has you climb by one of the only arches in WA! The long glacier approach and ridge climb allows you to combine a lot of skills. 

 
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ADVANCED ALPINE CLIMBS

Mt Fury, East Route

3-4 Days

Grade II

Steep Snow and Glaciers

Mt Fury is the most remote peak in the lower 48. The standard route is the east glacier. The route should be viewed as more of a high alpine traverse than a long technical climb. The approach is full of bushwhacking, river crossings and exposed scrambling. 

Torment Forbidden Traverse

3 Days

Grade V

5.6, Steep Snow and Glaciers

The Torment Forbidden Traverse is classic that tags two of the more iconic summits in the Cascades. Friable rock, exposed glaciers and extreme commitment make the TFT a highly challenging alpine route.

Mt Index, North Face

2 Days

Grade IV+

5.7, Steep Bushes

The North Peak of Mt Index lands at number 8 on the list of 10 most difficult to reach summits in WA. You approach via lake serene and easy talus slopes. The climb gets most of its challenge from its challenging to find protection and abundance of tree and bush climbing. The summit is a rarely visited gem that gives you a unique perspective on Sky Valley.

Dorado Needle, SW Face

3 Days

Grade III+

5.8, Steep Snow and Glaciers

The Marble Creek Cirque holds some of the biggest, badest alpine routes in the cascades. The SW face is one of the "big 3" in this valley. 


Inspiration Peak, East Ridge

3-4 Days

Grade III+

5.9, Steep Snow 

The East Ridge is renowned as one of the best climbs in the southern pickets. It has some of the best rock in the region and even offers some splitter cracks along the way. The Pickets are the most remote range in the lower 48. 

Early Morning Spire, Thin Black Line

3 Days

Grade IV

5.9, Steep Snow and Glaciers

The Thin Black Line is another one of Marble Creek's Big 3 and likely the most high quality. The impressive SW face of Early Morning spire teases every person that summits Eldorado Peak, but few ever make the journey to it. 


Dragontail Peak, Backbone Ridge

2-3 Days

Grade IV

5.9, Steep Snow

Backbone Ridge is in the heart of the enchantments. Backbone Ridge takes a high quality line straight up the tallest portion of the North Face.

Mt Stuart, North Ridge

2-3 Days

Grade IV+

5.9 

Probably the most famous rock climb in WA It's another "50 classic" that deserves to on the list. The North Ridge can be climbed two ways. It can be accessed via the Stuart glacier for a slightly shorter version of the climb, or accessed at the toe, for the full experience. We recommend the complete as you can often avoid needing to bring snow gear and it adds many pitches for 4star rock climbing.