Route Pioneering

Pro Guiding Service's owner, Martin Volken, and his guides have a long resume of pioneering big, remote and exposed routes in the Cascades and beyond. This is a collection of trip reports and blogs on some of the pioneered routes, and some higher caliber routes that were re-explored by Pro Guiding Service's guides.

Route Pioneering

 

 

"I feel lucky to have been able to come to the North Cascades when there was still a bit of route pioneering on classic alpine and ski objectives to be done. It was simply a lot of fun and allowed me to profile the guiding service in a meaningful way without spending hard earned cash on expensive adds in magazines. Some of the routes that have come from this are the now classic ski traverses, “The Forbidden Tour”, the “Snoqualmie High Route”, first descents of the Mount Buckner, Spider Mountain and Mount Torment North Faces, alpine traverses of Bonanza and Formidable Peak and more. As of late, some of our young guides; Forest McBrian, Trevor Kostanich and Aaron Mainer, have also completed some high caliber traverses of the Picket Range, the North Central Cascades and a new descent of the iconic Liberty Ridge on Mount Rainier."  -Martin Volken

 

Here are a collection of trip reports and blogs on some of these pioneered routes, and some higher caliber routes that were re-explored by Pro Guiding Service's guides:

 

The Forbidden Tour: Completed by Martin Volken in 1999

 

 The Pickets Traverse on Skis: Completed by Forest McBrian in 2010

 

 The NW Couloir of the Four Brothers: Completed by Erin Smart and Forest McBrian in 2012

 

The North Central Cascades Traverse: Completed by Trevor Kostanich in 2011

 

The Central Cascades Traverse: Completed by Trevor Kostanich in 2008

 

The West Couloir of Alta Mountain: Completed by Erin Smart and Forest McBrian in 2011

 

 Bonanza Peak: Completed by Forest McBrain in 2011

 

 South Couloir of Colfax Peak: Completed by Erin Smart and Forest McBrian in 2010

  • South Couloir of Colfax Peak
  • This trip report is of the second ski descent of this line by PGS guides Forest McBrian and Erin Smart.  The first descent was done by Martin Volken.