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North Cascades Guidebook

Postby OwenT » Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:34 am

I've been looking for a good comprehensive guidebook for the North Cascades (WA Cascades would be good to). I haven't really found what I'm looking for yet, some backpacking, lots of climbs and maybe some dayhikes. I've seen the Cascade Alpine Guide: Climbing and High Routes Rainy Pass to Fraser River and was wondering if it's any good for what I'm looking for. If you know of or have any other books that you like that'd appreciated also. :D
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Re: North Cascades Guidebook

Postby Matt Lemke » Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:56 am

Beckey's books are mainly climbing guides but he does describe class 2 and 3 ascents on all the peaks... albeit briefly. If you're interested in scrambles on peaks his book will help you but be weary his class 3 designations can sometimes involve some 4th class and maybe even a move of low 5th class. If you're strictly just wanting to hike and backpack, you'd want to look for a hiking guide.
The two below are good hiking guides.
http://www.buy.com/prod/100-hikes-in-washington-s-north-cascades-national-park-region/30581939.html?listingId=256641968&s_kwcid=

https://www.google.com/shopping/product/12643306133850948394?q=north%20cascades%20hiking%20guide&hl=en&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&biw=1680&bih=935&sa=X&ei=dNn8UM_zG6rwigL5hYHYAg&ved=0CGMQ8wIwAg
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Re: North Cascades Guidebook

Postby Diggler » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:21 am

While it's more expansive than the North Cascades specifically (it is Washington-centric though), & is mostly focused on climbs, rather than hikes or backpacking, I'm a big fan of the 2 part Select Climbs in the Cascades:

http://books.google.com/books/about/Sel ... trUIvYfU4C

&

http://www.mountaineersbooks.org/Select ... 2-P94.aspx
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Re: North Cascades Guidebook

Postby Wastral » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:28 am

OwenT: Just get the 100 hikes in North Cascades. If you want to peak bag off of any of these hikes one can easily do so. Very few N.Cascade peaks are all that hard. The fact you are posting here on summitpost seems to suggest to me you are fine on class 3 terrain. VERY few peaks in Washington/N.Cascades are above class 3. That being said, there are many routes where its vastly safer taking the class 4/5 option than the class 3 option. Of course those same said peaks likewise generally have a class 2 option to the top.

If you want more off trail hiking guidbook, then I would recommend the

Washingto's HIghest Mountains Basic Alpine & Glacier Routes by Peggy Goldman. This book combines both hiking and peak bagging the highest summits. Yes, some are technical, but all mountains are most picturesque at 3/4 their summit height and this book will take you to some pretty awesome off trail spots. Book gives MILEAGE, ELEVATION GAIN, and Peaks along the way to tag.

Enjoy.
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Re: North Cascades Guidebook

Postby Matt Lemke » Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:48 am

Wastral wrote:Very few N.Cascade peaks are all that hard. VERY few peaks in Washington/N.Cascades are above class 3.


I beg to differ! There are many, many peaks with std routes above class 3!!! Many of them have glaciers to navigate too!
The North Cascades is the hardest place to go peakbagging in the lower 48 states!
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Re: North Cascades Guidebook

Postby Josh Lewis » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:12 am

Very few... ha! Forbidden, JBurg, Torment, Pickets, Jack Mountain, Liberty Bell, Norado Needle, Mount Logan, and many more. Those are the more well known ones, there are plenty lesser known ones that will provide a great challenge! But be warned, this place is not ideal most of the year for your average person. Bad weather has been lasting though July for the past few years. I have plenty of pictures to prove it too. :wink: But it's no reason to not go for it. It's the best place on Earth to this day that I've ever been to. I drool about the North Cascades.
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Re: North Cascades Guidebook

Postby Snidely Whiplash » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:28 pm

OwenT wrote:I've been looking for a good comprehensive guidebook for the North Cascades (WA Cascades would be good to). I haven't really found what I'm looking for yet, some backpacking, lots of climbs and maybe some dayhikes. I've seen the Cascade Alpine Guide: Climbing and High Routes Rainy Pass to Fraser River and was wondering if it's any good for what I'm looking for. If you know of or have any other books that you like that'd appreciated also. :D


I don't think there is a comprehensive guide to fill the bill of exactly what you're looking for (maybe you should write one!). I would say Beckey's guide is good for aerial pictures and including lots and lots of peaks in it, but it is very brief on trail approaches (not to mention route descriptions), and shows very few trail maps or explains how trails connect to one another. The 100 Hikes Books are excellent at describing trails and how they connect to one another, but they won't include much on climbing information, unless it is a very easy scramble that is frequently done (mostly Class 2). Check out this book. It seems to come closest to what you're looking for: Summit Routes: Washington's 100 Highest Peaks. It's not specific to the North Cascades, but since most of Washington's high peaks are in the North Cascades, it does have an awful lot of what you seem to be looking for.
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Re: North Cascades Guidebook

Postby mountainsandsound » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:00 pm

Don't most of our mountains have class 3/4 or lower ways to the top? I think all the 9,000 and above do, but correct me if I'm wrong. Regardless, lack of technical rock climbing doesn't mean they don't have a heinous approach, thought-provoking glacier travel, route-finding problems, russian roulette loose rock, or other things that would be considered "difficult".

Oh and the Douglas Loraine "Backpacking WA" is pretty good.

"Climbing Washington's Mountains" by Jeff Smoot is good for peak bagging. There are a few technical routes thrown in there but mostly standard routes with scrambling and basic glacier travel.

The NatGeo series maps are very good for an overview of topography and trails. I can't tell you how many hours I've spent with my N. Cascades National Park map just getting ideas.
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Re: North Cascades Guidebook

Postby Wastral » Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:34 am

I love the Cascades as well, but the homerism exposed above by Matt Lemke/Josh Lewis is ludicrous. To make them happy, yea Snoqualiame pass north are harder on average to reach the top of than other regions in CONUS. Uh, JBerg is class 3 =-)

Naming those class 4 and above is fairly easy as there are so few of them. Also depends on what you call a peak. There are many sub "summits/spires" that could make the list longer.

There are a bare handful of peaks requiring class 4 or higher to reach the top. The vast majority are class 3 or lower. IE average climber/off trail hiker won't want a rope. It should be noted that a VERY high percentage of "slips" to their death happen on class 3 terrain. Heads up to the unitiated gung ho types.

PS. I have made it my goal to reach every peak in WA where easiest way up is class 4/5. Huckleberry and a couple others in the brown becky bible to go along with Silver Lake region(red). Does E. McMillian really count? If so, got that beautiful peak to go and will gladly go back for it! Not sure I will get MOX as it is reported as the WORST of rock even worse than Boston, which is saying something. Got the whole Green becky bible completed minus 2, I have Dark Peak, Bonanza to go. For those wishing to get out of the way peaks, the Snowking/Buckinidy region is frankly one of my favorite regions.

PPS. Hozemeen South(class 4) is an awesome vantage point that very few get to and the sheer drop off on all sides is jaw dropping. Not quite as good as a certain BC Peak to the west though!
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Re: North Cascades Guidebook

Postby Matt Lemke » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:46 am

Owen...please do not be fooled. If you don't have experience on exposed, loose 4th class rock DO NOT attempt J'Burg

This peak is on the top 10 hardest peaks to climb in all of Washington it is most certainly not third class.
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Re: North Cascades Guidebook

Postby Sunny Buns » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:46 am

A good hiking guide book is: "Hiking the North Cascades" by Fred T. Darville, Jr. (A Sierra Club Totebook). copyright 1982. Mine has a blue cover and is small enough to fit in your pack: 4.5" x 6.1" x 1" thick. 365 pages. You might find a copy at a library or used book store or here:

http://www.amazon.com/Hiking-North-Cascades-Sierra-totebook/dp/0871562979/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1359193050&sr=1-4
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Re: North Cascades Guidebook

Postby Wastral » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:23 pm

Matt Lemke wrote:Owen...please do not be fooled. If you don't have experience on exposed, loose 4th class rock DO NOT attempt J'Burg

This peak is on the top 10 hardest peaks to climb in all of Washington it is most certainly not third class.


Ok, faulty memory on JBerg, been a while since been on top. I certainly do remember all that danged scree on the south side though!
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Re: North Cascades Guidebook

Postby OwenT » Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:33 am

Ya... I'm aware of the dangers and ruggedness of the North Cascades, I think I'll check out a few of those books too, they sound like what would be good for me. Thanks guys and Especially Matt for all you contributions of stuff in WA. I've read a lot of your stuff and I like your pictures too.
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Re: North Cascades Guidebook

Postby LuminousAphid » Sun Mar 31, 2013 4:57 pm

Wastral wrote:I love the Cascades as well, but the homerism exposed above by Matt Lemke/Josh Lewis is ludicrous. To make them happy, yea Snoqualiame pass north are harder on average to reach the top of than other regions in CONUS. Uh, JBerg is class 3 =-)

Naming those class 4 and above is fairly easy as there are so few of them. Also depends on what you call a peak. There are many sub "summits/spires" that could make the list longer.


If you keep debasing and underestimating the difficulty of the terrain that you climb, you may find yourself in a spot of trouble someday. Cockiness and confidence have their place, but when you start making factual errors about the difficulty of mountains and routes due to your presumption that "every peak in WA is so eeeeaaassy," you should rethink your attitude toward your relationship with the mountains. You are not better than them just because you can climb them; they allow you to climb them, you are a guest, and your aplomb will only make your experience less rewarding at best, and very possibly dangerous.

Even mountains that are "only class 2" can put your ass in a predicament if you get off-route, or it snows or gets dark. I just tried to find a post from a couple years ago (I think it's deleted by now) where a couple of people I used to be in the UW climbing club with got off-route on Snoqualmie Mountain. They decided to take an apparently easy route down on the other side of the mountain, and eventually had to call SAR after getting cliffed out with no way back. Now, the easiest route on that mountain is what I would call class 1, or maybe class 2, but they still got into trouble.

Also, if you are going by Beckey's ratings, most of his "class 3" is really class 4, or so I've heard.

Anyway... the original poster didn't ask about how many mountains are class 3/4/5, they asked about guidebooks. To return to topic;

I haven't used many guidebooks, and don't have lots of experience north of HWY 2, but I always liked Beckey's guides for at least initial research into peaks. If I decide that something I find there seems fun, I will usually seek out secondary resources like books more specific to the region or online beta. I have hardly ever gone on a trip using only 1 resource, unless it's strictly trail hiking in a familiar or busy area. So, I would say use something like Beckey to get a general idea of what or where you want to go, but to find more specific information use a more narrowly-focused resource. There are thousands of peaks in WA, and at least hundreds in the N. Cascades, so you can't expect one book to have all the info you might want.

edit: here's the post I was referencing, it was in the UWCC forum, not here: http://students.washington.edu/climb/fo ... =33&t=4547
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Re: North Cascades Guidebook

Postby Josh Lewis » Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:22 am

LuminousAphid wrote:Also, if you are going by Beckey's ratings, most of his "class 3" is really class 4, or so I've heard.


It's true, I've experienced this myself a few times. I've been on stuff on Colorado and thought "is this really class 4? Feels like class 3 to me". But with Becky when he says class 4, WATCH OUT! Consider bringing a rope. :wink:
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