The North Cascade Range is the lower 48's premiere destination for alpine mountaineering. With over 300 glaciers in an area just over 1,000 square miles, the North Cascades are the ideal place to develop basic mountaineering skills or to push yourself on remote and challenging alpine climbs. Most of our customers for climbs in the North Cascades have some previous climbing experience, but there are a few spots suitable for training beginning climbers.
Mt. Baker, and on Glacier Peak. Many peak ascents have set dates, and we can also organize custom climbs. Custom programs can be arranged for groups as small as 1 climber and their guide and as large as 9 climbers and 3 guides, although we prefer smaller groups.
Accessing the mountains is the central challenge as the area is managed to maintain its rugged approaches and wilderness setting, thus there are few roads, and a very limited number of trails. Most of the guided climbing takes place in Boston Basin, on Eldorado Peak, Mt. Shuksan, Mt. Baker, and Glacier Peak. Beyond these three areas lie endless opportunities for exploration of peaks that often see only a few ascents per year.
Mountaineering 101 - Introduction to Glacier Mountaineering. Those planning to undertake an extended expedition might consider our Denali Prep Course.
Forbidden Tour and can also organize custom ski descents of Mt. Baker and ski mountaineering courses.
- Sahale Peak - Quien Sabe Glacier (1-2 days)
- Mt. Shuksan - Sulphide Glacier (2 days)
- Mt. Baker - Coleman Deming (2-3 days)
- Glacier Peak Climbs (4 days)
- Mt. Shuksan - Fischer Chimneys (3 days)
- Forbidden Peak - West Ridge (2 days)
- Forbidden Peak - North Ridge (3 days)
- Mt. Buckner - North Face (3 days)
- Mt. Triumph - NE Ridge (3 days)
- Sharkfin Tower - SE ridge (2 days)
- Eldorado Peak - East Ridge (3 days)
- Mount Torment - South Ridge (2 days)
- Dorado Needle - Northwest Buttress (3 days)
- Black Peak - NE Ridge, S Ridge Traverse (1 day)
- Mount Logan - Fremont Glacier (4 days)
- Mt. Shuksan - White Salmon Glacier (3 days)
- Mt. Shuksan - North Face (3 days)
- Forbidden Peak - East Ridge Direct (2 days)
- Torment-Forbidden Traverse (2 days)
- Eldorado Peak - West Arete (3 days)
- Early Morning Spire - Southwest Face (3 days)
- Mount Goode - East Buttress (3-4 days)
- Johannesburg Peak - NE Buttress (3 days)
Baker Lake Approach: This is used for climbs of Mt. Shuksan's Sulphide Glacier. The drive takes about 2.5 hours from downtown Seattle, and you will generally meet your guide at the Ranger Station in Sedro-Woolley, which is 1 hour and 20 mins north of downtown Seattle.
Cascade River Road Approach: We cross the Skagit River in Marblemount, WA for climbs in Boston Basin (Forbidden Peak, Sahale Peak, Sharkfin Tower, Tormet Peak, Johannesburg Peak, and Cascade Pass. We use the Eldorado Trailhead for climbs of Eldorado Peak, Dorado Needle, and the Forbidden Tour. Marblemount, WA is where you will meet your guide for climbs up the Cascade River Road and is about 2 hours from Downtown Seattle. The drive up the Cascade River Road takes about another 45 minutes and is passable in regular vehicles.
Glacier, WA Approach: For climbs on the North side of Mt. Shuksan as well as ascents of Mt. Baker we meet our guests at the USFS ranger station in Baker, WA. Baker usually takes around 2 hours and 45 minutes to reach from downtown Seattle, and the trailhead is another 30 minutes beyond this.
Darrington, WA Approach: For climbs of Glacier Peak, we generally meet in the the small logging town of Darrington, WA and then drive another 30 minutes to the trailhead. The roads and trails around Glacier Peak are often affected by flooding and seem to be in a constant state of repair, thus we are always tweaking our approach to Glacier Peak given local conditions. Darrington is about 1 hour and 30 mins from downtown Seattle.