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Areas in North Cascades

Black Peak 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 2
Boston Basin 10 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 14 / 14
Castle Peak 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 1
Chilliwack Range 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 2
Colfax Peak 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 3
Eldorado Peak 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 5 / 5
Glacier Peak 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 2
Gunsight Range, The 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 6 / 6
Mamie Peak 3 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4 / 4
Mix Up Peak 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 1
Morning Star Peak 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 1
Mt Triumph 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 1
Mt. Baker 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 8 / 8
Mt. Challenger 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 1
Mt. Formidable 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 1
Mt. Goode 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 1
Mt. Maude 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 1
Mt. Shuksan 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 7 / 7
Picket Range 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 3
Primus Peak 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 2
Ruth Mountain 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 2
Vesper Peak 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4 / 4
Washington Pass 63 / 10 / 0 / 1 / 3 / 2 / 2 / 73 / 73
Whatcom Peak 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 2

Description

The North Cascades are home to a huge number of sharp granite peaks with many excellent alpine climbs. With so much to offer and typical alpine approaches, you probably won't find mobs of other people. The granite is mostly very good, offering cracks, chimneys, flakes, roofs, etc. Summer is the time for alpine rock.

Getting There

The general North Cascades area can be reached either by driving west on Highway 20 from I-5 (although Highway 20 is more often closed than not) or by driving east on Highway 2 to Leavenworth or I-90, then North on Highway 97 and North again on Highway 153, which meets up with the other side of Highway 20 in Twisp.

147 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at North Cascades

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
WI2-3 Steep Snow
North Ridge
Ice, Snow, Alpine
Mod. Snow
Coleman/Deming Glacier
Snow, Alpine
Easy Snow
East Ridge
Snow, Alpine
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
South Arete
Trad, Alpine 3 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Beckey Route (SW Face)
Trad, Alpine 3 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Mod. Snow
West Ridge
Trad, Snow, Alpine
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Southwest Rib
Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
West Ridge
Trad, Alpine 8 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Northwest Corner (a.k.a. Boving-Polla…
Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
East Face
Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Clean Break
Trad, Alpine 15 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Direct East Buttress
Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
The West Face
Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
The Hitchhiker
Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c C2
Liberty Crack
Trad, Aid, Alpine 12 pitches
North Ridge Mt. Baker WI2-3 Steep Snow Ice, Snow, Alpine
Coleman/Deming Glacier Mt. Baker Mod. Snow Snow, Alpine
East Ridge Eldorado Peak Easy Snow Snow, Alpine
South Arete Washington Pass > S Early Winters Spire 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad, Alpine 3 pitches
Beckey Route (SW Face) Washington Pass > Liberty Bell 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, Alpine 3 pitches
West Ridge Boston Basin > Forbidden Peak 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Mod. Snow Trad, Snow, Alpine
Southwest Rib Washington Pass > S Early Winters Spire 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
West Ridge Washington Pass > Silver Star and c… > Paisano Pinnacle 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, Alpine 8 pitches
Northwest Corner (a.k.a. Bo… Washington Pass > N Early Winter Spire 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
East Face Washington Pass > Lexington Tower 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
Clean Break Washington Pass > Silver Star and c… > Juno Tower 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad, Alpine 15 pitches
Direct East Buttress Washington Pass > S Early Winters Spire 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
The West Face Washington Pass > N Early Winter Spire 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Trad, Alpine 6 pitches
The Hitchhiker Washington Pass > S Early Winters Spire 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Trad, Alpine 9 pitches
Liberty Crack Washington Pass > Liberty Bell 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c C2 Trad, Aid, Alpine 12 pitches
More Classic Climbs in North Cascades »

Weather Averages

High
 
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Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
Empty
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
OReid
Denver, CO
OReid   Denver, CO
The North Cascades are composed of a wide variety of rock types, but primarily Skagit gneiss, not granite. The rock tends to be crumbly, but there are pockets of good firm climbing. Forbidden Peak, Gunsight Mountain, Dome Peak, and Goode Mountain come to mind as being particularly solid. As the pictures above indicate, it is not the rock quality, but the glaciation and alpine ambiance that make this range unique in the lower 48! Apr 3, 2011

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