Forbidden Peak Climb

Climbing Forbidden Peak is a quintessentially North Cascadian Experience - by any route. All its classic ridge routes - the famous West Ridge, the East Ridge or the lonely North Ridge are well worth the effort and provide an unforgettable experience in a stunning setting. 

See full description below
$580.00
Difficulty rating and Skill requirements
very good physical fitness and prior mountaineering experience.
  • Category: Alpine
  • Type: Guided
  • Ratio: 2:1,4:2

* Required Fields

Climbing Forbidden Peak is a quintessentially North Cascadian Experience - by any route. All its classic ridge routes - the famous West Ridge, the East Ridge or the lonely North Ridge are well worth the effort and provide an unforgettable experience in a stunning setting. The three principal ridges radiate in almost perfect symmetry away from its 8815 foot summit. 
You will see scheduled dates on the calendar, but we offer any of the Forbidden Peak routes (or any route in the North Cascades National Park) on a private basis. Just give us a call at 425 888 6397 and we will help you pick a route and or objective that suits your needs. 
The Forbidden Peak West Ridge is on of the 50 Classic Climbs in North America - with good reason. The approach into the Boston Basin is steep, but reasonably short. (about 3 to 4 hours from the car depending on which camp you choose). It does not matter if you camp at the lower camp at 5400 feet or at the upper camp at 6200 feet. 
The routes themselves do not offer any particularly high grade of climbing in rock and ice, but the terrain is transition intensive, exposed and constantly demands your attention. 
The Forbidden West Ridge:  Grade 3 / 5.6:
An approach from camp of about one hour will get you to the base of the Unnamed Glacier which is located below the Forbidden Peak's South Face. We will ascend the glacier and then climb up the well-known access couloir to the actual West Ridge. In early season this is a fairly straight forward affair involving basic crampon and ice axe work. Eventually the couloir melts out and we then access the West Ridge via one of the rocky gullys that border the snow couloir on its west side. 
Once on the West Ridge, we follow the ridge to the top. On this ridge is where the route truly earned its reputation. The rock quality is great, the exposure is spectacular but not overwhelming and the scenery is stunning in every direction. Round trip time from Camp to Camp is approximately 8 to 10 hours. 
The Forbidden East Ridge direct Grade 3 / 5.8
The initial approach from camp is the same as for the West Ride, but before truly reaching the Unnamed Glacier we trend east and up a broad shoulder to the base of the East Ridge. The good news is that the East Ridge is easily accessible any time during the summer season - no matter how melted out conditons are. The East Ridge Direct followed by a subsequent descent of the West Ridge is a popular way to complete the route. Either way, it should be a great time. If you are up for a bit harder climbing, this might be the route for you. The rock (Skagit Gneiss) on the ridge is very good,  and the 5.8 sections of climbing provide significant exposure. Round trip time from camp to camp is approximately 8 to 10 hours. 
The Forbidden North Ridge Grade 4 / 5.7
This climb involves a crossing of the famous Sharkfin Col from the Quien Sabe Glacier to the impressive Boston Glacier on the east side of Forbidden Peak. On a side note; the Boston Glacier is the biggest of the over 300 glaciers in North Cascades National Park. Once on the glacier, we head north to access the toe of the North Ridge. From here we have the option of following the entire ridge to the summit or drop onto the Forbidden Glacier which allows us to access the ridge proper via a snow and ice shield (it is called the Northwest Face of the North Ridge). Either way - you will feel that you are in a magnificent setting. The actual rock climb on the ridge is always enjoyable and pretty straight forward, since the rock is solid and favorably layered for movement. We highly recommend to do this climb as a three day climb, since the approach to the toe of the North Ridge already involves over 6000 feet of vertical gain and a lot of distance. This would add about $255 per person to the advertised cost of the climb, but it is well worth it. 
 
Of course there is also the NW Buttress and the Southface direct. These routes are harder. Please call us for to make a private arrangement. 

 


Pro Ski Service Logo


 Sign up for a course or a trip and receive a 10% discount on purchases and a 20% discount on gear rental. Go to Pro Ski and Mountain ServicePro Ski and Mountain Service is our retail specialty store. It has been located in North Bend, WA since 1999. The past trips and courses have had a large influence on what we sell. Many of our Pro Guiding customers come on trips and courses with gear they purchased from our store. Not only do we want our clients to have the right gear for the job; we also receive direct feedback from them while they are using it in the field. Trust us - if the gear does not work - we won't sell it.



EQUIPMENT LIST AND FAQ’S

FAQ’S:
HOW MUCH PRIOR MOUNTAINEERING EXPERIENCE IS REQUIRED?
GUIDED TRIPS LIKE THE NORTH CASCADES NORTH FACE WEEK, BAKER NORTH RIDGE, AND THE CLASSIC RIDGE TRAVERSE WEEK REQUIRE PRIOR MOUNTAINEERING EXPERIENCE.
 CAN I USE THIS GUIDED WEEK AS A PREP WEEK FOR HARDER CLIMBS IN THE ALPS?
YES, IT IS PERFECT FOR THAT AND SOME OF THE CLIMBS ARE JUST AS HARD AS THE ALPS CLIMBING OBJECTIVES.
DOES PGS PROVIDE THE FOOD?
NO, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN FOOD.  WE ARE GLAD TO HELP WITH FOOD SUGGESTIONS THOUGH.
HOW BIG OR RATHER HOW SMALL SHOULD MY PACK BE?
TRY TO FIT YOUR GEAR INTO A 50 LITER PACK. IF THE WEEK IS CONDUCTED OUT OF AN ESTABLISHED BASECAMP, YOU COULD CONSIDER A BIGGER PACK ALONG WITH A SUMMIT PACK.  
EQUIPMENT LIST
PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT THIS EQUIPMENT LIST IS GENERIC AND MIGHT HAVE TO BE MODIFIED DEPENDING ON THE TECHNICAL NATURE OF THE TRIP.
 
CLOTHING
•            BASE  LAYER
o            1 Bottom - midweight or lightweight
o            Non-Cotton Underwear
o            1 or 2 Tops - midweight or lightweight
o            Sock Liners - 2 or 3 pair
o            Socks - 2 pair
•            MID LAYER
o            Windshirt, Soft Shell, Fleece Jacket - only one of these is necessary
o            Soft Shell type pants
•            OUTERWEAR
o            Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Jacket
o            Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Pants - may be omitted w/ soft shell type pants
o            Warm Hat - should cover ears
o            Sun Hat - baseball type or visor
o            Lightweight Gloves - wind block or fleece/wool type
o            Warm Gloves
o            Gaiters - low top or full size
•            INSULATION
o            Down or Synthetic Jacket
PERSONAL GEAR 
o            Internal Frame Pack - 50 Liter (3100 cu in.) minimum
o            Sleeping Bag - down or synthetic, 20 deg. F. minimum
o            Sleeping Pad - closed cell foam or self inflating
o            Mountaineering Boots - leather or synthetic, crampon compatible
o            Headlamp - lightweight LED recommended w/ extra batteries
o            Water Bottles - 1 or 2 liters, wide mouth
o            Water Purification - tablets or filter
o            Bowl or Cup
o            Utensils
o            Small Knife
o            Glacier Glasses
o            Sunscreen - SPF 25+, waterproof
o            Lip Balm - SPF 15+
o            Lighter or Matches
o            Personal Toiletries - toothbrush, toothpaste, waterless hand cleaner, etc.
o            Small Personal 1st Aid Kit - blister repair, aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.
TECHNICAL GEAR
o            Ice Axe - 55-70 cm length
o            Crampons - 10 or 12 point steel or aluminum depending on  conditions and route.
o            Anti-ball plates - for crampons
o            Climbing Helmet - UIAA approved only
o            Climbing Harness - mountaineering style (e.g. B.D. Alpine Bod)
o            Locking Biners (2) - (1) large HMS style and (1) regular locker
o            Non-locking Biners (4) - any style, we prefer wire gate type
o            Cordelettes (1) - 6 mm diameter, 6 meter lengths, untied
o            Sewn Slings (2) - 1 single length (60 cm), 1 double length (120 cm)
o            Ice Screws (2) - 13-17 cm length (for North Ridge only)
OPTIONAL ITEMS *We highly recommend these items, but do not require them to participate
o            Adjustable Trekking Pole(s) - nice to have for approach/crevasse navigation
o            Camera - we’re always looking for some shots for the PGS website!
o            Ear Plugs - essential for sound sleep
o            Thermos - vacuum type
o            Note Pad and Pencil - Rite-in-the-Rain brand waterproof notebook works
o            Ropeman or Tibloc - used in the crevasse rescue system
o            Compass - adjustable declination required
o            Altimeter - Suunto watch works well
o            Map Case - large zip-loc will suffice
o            Collapsible Water Canteen -  good for storing snowmelt at camp
GROUP GEAR PROVIDED BY PGS *Please contact the guiding office if you prefer to bring your own gear in place of any of our group gear.
o            Tents
o            Stoves
o            Fuel
o            Cooking Pots
o            Ropes
o            Technical Gear such as elaborate crevasse rescue kit and trad gear.
o            Group 1st Aid Kit
o            VHF radio or Satellite phone