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Need a recommendation for a climb in the North Cascades.

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Need a recommendation for a climb in the North Cascades.

Postby mambwe » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:38 pm

Climbing Rainier in August and I am looking for a nice climb/hike in the North Cascades. We know it's a long drive but we've seen pictures and it looks amazing. Any recommendations on hikes? Probably 8-10 miles. Just want to see something amazing. We're coming from the east coast.
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Re: Need a recommendation for a climb in the North Cascades.

Postby ExcitableBoy » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:59 pm

Are you an experienced alpinist? Are you looking for alpine ice routes, moderate glacier climbs, alpine rock routes? I can makes some specific recommendations for mountains and routes if you give me some information about what type of climbing you are interested in. Generally speaking, Cascade Pass, Washington Pass, and Artist's Point offer easy access to a wide variety of Cascades climbs.
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Re: Need a recommendation for a climb in the North Cascades.

Postby mambwe » Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:24 pm

Rainier will be our first glacier travel and the north cascade climb will be before rainier. We've done winter hiking in the white mountain & adirondacks, but no ice/rock climbing. We've done some class 3 stuff in Colorado.
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Re: Need a recommendation for a climb in the North Cascades.

Postby ExcitableBoy » Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:48 pm

Assuming you are already proficient with an ice axe, crampons, and 3rd class scrambling:

North Twin Sister, West Ridge. One of the best scrambles, some people may want a rope. The North Face is a straight forward snow climb.

Ruth Mountain, Ruth Glacier. Amazing views into the wild Nooksack Cirque and the Price Glacier of Mt. Shuksan. Easy glacier travel, I have never roped up but some people do. A Corgi made the summit last time I was there.

Eldorado Peak, East Ridge. Easy glacier, again I have never roped for this climb, some do.

Sahale Peak, via Sahale Arm. Great views, nice hike, easy scrambling.

Silver Star Peak, Silver Star Glacier. This is a moderate route to a very scenic summit with views to the geat east faces of the South Early Winters Spire group.
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Re: Need a recommendation for a climb in the North Cascades.

Postby mambwe » Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:26 am

We will be playing with ice axes a lot this winter, but otherwise we have never really used them. Crampons have been used for icy hiking.

I'll take a look at the hikes you posted. Should I avoid any because of our poor ice axe skills?
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Re: Need a recommendation for a climb in the North Cascades.

Postby ExcitableBoy » Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:34 am

None of the glaciers are particularly steep, not much steeper than 30 degrees, but still there are exposed areas and the glaciers may be icy. Technical ice skills are not necessary, but I would pratice your ice axe and crampon skills.
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Re: Need a recommendation for a climb in the North Cascades.

Postby nickmech » Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:19 am

Hey New York guy, EB's list is definately moderate routes for North Cascade mountains, but in August the glaciers can have some big crevasses open. Practice and learn some ice ax-glacier travel skills. Enjoy.
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Re: Need a recommendation for a climb in the North Cascades.

Postby ExcitableBoy » Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:32 pm

Not in the North Cascades per se, but certainly very worth a look:

Colchuck Peak, Colchuck Glacier. Can be very icy late season.
Dragontail Peak, Asgard Pass route
Mt Stuart, Cascadian Couloir

Also, I recall a conversation with a couple I met in the Tetons who were from New York on their first big mountain trip. They had just turned around on the Grand's Direct Exum due to slow speed. They said "We spent a lot of time training at the 'Gunks. We should have spent more time on the stair master." Even the moderate climbs in the Cascades are as strenous as many of the classic Tetons routes. You mentioned you wanted to hike between 8-10 miles. I would factor elevation gain into your choice as well.
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Re: Need a recommendation for a climb in the North Cascades.

Postby Wastral » Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:53 am

Uh, guys he is looking for a day hike of at most 10 miles. I would note that None of the above listed "climbs" are under 10 miles. Just a thought. Though I suppose Eldorado is. Of course it also has 7000 vertical on it. =) Of course its not exactly a hike either. Rather a climbers trail going straight up the mountain.

Fisher Pass/Cascade Pass aren't bad. Maple Pass is also great. Mt. Thornton is sweet. Awesome views of the Pickets. Sourdough Mountain is very good as well. All of these are off hwy 20 and about 10 miles round trip. Note driving time 1 way from Seattle is about 3 hours for these destinations.

Mt. Dickerman is pretty good. Trail all the way. Very popular, but good views of moderate peaks with LOTS of vertical.

Several of the above peaks are far closer to 12 or 15 miles and 5000 vertical or more.

Ruth is 5000 vertical and 14ish miles.
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