Mountain Project Logo

Forbidden peak winter conditions


Original Post
Steve Phillips · · Holden, MA · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

Does anyone know about winter conditions for Forbidden Peak? Looking to do a late March ascent and if it’s bearable, who’d like to rope up?

Dan Cooksey · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 365

There has been a ton of snow this year.  Plus the avalanche conditions have been really sketchy. I think the death toll is up to 6.  I would applaud your effort, but my guess is things would be pretty gnarly. The last week has been relatively mild, and the warming temps add to the unpredictable snow conditions (cold, warm, cold etc) But if you do it be safe and post a trip report! 

jaredj · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2013 · Points: 165

I'd ask on cascadeclimbers, you'll probably get more useful perspective.  As the prior poster alluded to this year has presented somewhat unique avalanche problems for the PNW.

A popular multiday ski tour known colloquially as "the Forbidden tour" travels through several basins around the peak (though most don't make a summit attempt), and if you look on the PNW ski forum Turns All Year (sometimes abbreviated TAY) you might get some useful beta as well in the form of photos of current conditions.

Regardless of your intended route, getting off the peak safely could be the crux in winter conditions IMHO.  Not trying to be a surfer - style locals only jerk, but I think it'd be a big undertaking without some prior scoping out.

If you've already bought a plane ticket out this way and things don't come together for Forbidden, then a couple of alternative late winter / early spring routes to consider are the Triple Couloirs on Dragontail Peak or one of the couloirs on Colchuck Peak.  March is typically "kinda early" for those routes.  The north face on Mt. Shuksan is a nice full-value adventure this time of year that (in my opinion) offers fewer hazards than what Forbidden would throw your way.  

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 486

Second on north of Shuksan as a better alternative. Cascade River road is not plowed and access to Forbidden is a PITA most winters w/o a sled to take the snow covered road in. This late in the year it's likely mostly gravel with some large slide paths blocking road off the west side flank of Jburg. 

Steve Phillips · · Holden, MA · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

Thanks guys! Very useful information I might have to revisit in July/August but mt shuksan might be in the works.

Matthew Tangeman · · Bellingham, WA · Joined May 2015 · Points: 140
Steve Phillips wrote:

Thanks guys! Very useful information I might have to revisit in July/August but mt shuksan might be in the works.

I'm sure I'm stating the obvious, but keep an eye on avalanche conditions - the Baker/Shuksan area got 10 feet of snow in 10 days this time last year, and your odds of encountering safe steep snow conditions I would say are slim. I've spent a fair bit of time on Shuksan in the winter (but never on the north face) and have never approached though the White Salmon valley without seeing huge debris paths. Not a place you want to be with a lot of fresh snow, not to mention a deep snow approach would be a pain without skis. 

July/August is no doubt the prime time to be in the North Cascades.

Steve Phillips · · Holden, MA · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

I do have a ticket already (I know I’m impulsive) but if anyone wants to give sulphide glacier a crack lmk

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Pacific Northwest
Post a Reply to "Forbidden peak winter conditions "

Log In to Reply