Pickets Ski Traverse

A ski traverse through the famed Picket Range of the North Cascades National Park. It is a once in a lifetime trip!

May 8, 2018 - May 13, 2018

Difficulty rating and Skill requirements

Difficulty Rating System

Overall Difficulty Level: Very difficult

Skills Required: Advanced skiing ability and prior ski touring experience 

Fitness Level: Very strenuous due to skitouring with big overnight packs

  • Category: Ski
  • Type: Guided
  • Ratio: 4:2
A ski traverse through the famed Picket Range of the North Cascades National Park. Treat yourself to these pictures and sign up as long as there is space. http://www.pbase.com/nolock/pickets

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 Service

Pro 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.

•            BASE  LAYER
o            1 Bottom - midweight or lightweight
o            1 or 2 Tops - midweight or lightweight
o            Sock Liners - 2 or 3 pair
o            Ski Socks - 2 pair
•            MID LAYER
o            Windshirt, Soft Shell, Fleece - only one of these is necessary
o            Schoeller™ type pants - soft shell
•            OUTERWEAR
o            Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Jacket
o            Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Pants - may be omitted w/ Schoeller™ type pants
o            Warm Hat - should cover ears
o            Sun Hat - baseball type or visor
o            Lightweight Gloves
o            Ski Gloves
•            INSULATION
o            Down or Synthetic Jacket
o            Internal Frame Pack - 50 Liter (3100 cu in.) minimum
o            Sleeping Bag - down or synthetic, rated to about 15º F
o            Compression Sack - for sleeping bag           
o            Sleeping Pad - closed cell foam or self inflating
o            Headlamp - lightweight LED recommended
o            Water Bottles - 1 or 2 liters, wide mouth
o            Bowl or Cup
o            Utensils
o            Small Knife
o            Sunglasses - adequate for snow travel
o            Goggles
o            Sunscreen - SPF >25, waterproof
o            Lip Balm - SPF 15+
o            Lighter
o            Personal Toiletries - toothbrush, toothpaste, waterless hand cleaner, etc.
o            Small Personal 1st aid kit - blister repair (Compeed™), aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.
o            Skis - Alpine Touring or Telemark
o            Ski Boots - Alpine Touring or Telemark – no downhill boots
o            Ski Poles - telescopic poles work well, but not required
o            Climbing Skins
o            Ski Crampons - THESE ARE REQUIRED!
o            Ski Brakes
o            Transceiver - single frequency,  457 kHz only
o            Shovel - compact, lightweight, metal blade preferred
o            Probe - dedicated probe only, ski poles do not suffice
o            Ice Axe - 55-70 cm length, lightweight
o            Boot Crampons – Aluminum is recommended for this trip
o            Climbing Harness - lightweight, BD Alpine Bod style (no padding)
o            2 Locking Biners - (1) large HMS style and (1) reg. locker
o            2 Non-locking Biners - any style, we recommend wire gates 
o            1 Cordelettes - 6 mm diameter, 6 meter lengths, untied
o            1 Sewn Sling - nylon or spectra, double-length
Remember, you will be moving with all your gear every day!! Keep it light.
o            Camera - we’d like 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            Altimeter - Suunto watch works well
o            Map Case - large zip-loc will suffice
o            Maps - contact guiding office for appropriate quadrangles
o            Collapsible Water Canteen - good for storing snowmelt at camp
o            Warm Socks - to sleep in
o            Foot Powder
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            Rope
o            Technical Group Gear, SAT radio
o            Group 1st Aid Kit

Where in the world is Newhalem? Newhalem, WA is located on the western slopes of the North Cascades along State Hwy 20. Driving time from the Seattle area is about 3 hours.

Are there places to stay in Newhalem if I get there a day early? Yes, there are reasonable accommodations  nearby in Marblemount . You can stay at:

 Totem Trail Motel

 - www.totemtrail.com

57627 State Route 20, Rockport - (360) 873-4535

Buffalo Run Inn

PO Box 133, 60117 State Route 20, Marblemount - (877) 828-6652

Skagit River Resort

- www.northcascades.com

(North Cascades Hwy, WA St Rte 20, Mile 103.5), 58468 Clark Cabin Road, Rockport - (360) 873-2250

Does PGS provide food for the trip? No, we do not provide food, but are perfectly happy to make food suggestions.

Can I buy food for the trip in Marblemount? There is a small grocery store in the local Shell Station, but it only carries basic things? The last bigger grocery store is located near Concrete, WA.

I do not have any prior ski mountaineering experience. Can I still come on the trip? If you have  a goo amount of prior ski touring experience, are a very strong skier and are very fit, it should not be a problem.

Is the skiing difficult? The skiing is not difficult per say, but you will be skiing with an overnight pack in a big variety of snow conditions. Solid skiing ability will make it much more enjoyable. We do not recommend this being your first ski outing with a big pack.