This is your opportunity to climb three of the most iconic peaks in the North Cascades in one week. Come and climb Mount Baker, Mount Shuksan and Sahale Peak with us. Non of these peaks are very demanding on a technical level, but they offer a level of introduction into alpine climbing that would be hard to match in a different area of the Lower 48 states.
Peak 1: Mount Baker is a heavily glaciated volcano and the route up the Coleman and Deming Glaciers is scenic, technically entertaining and physically strenuous enough so that you will feel challenges but ready for the next step. Besides climbing a very cool glaciated peak, you will be introduced to roped glacier travel and crampon technique up to 40 degrees of steepness. Mount Baker tops out at 10780 feet, which is just high enough to start feeling the altitude a bit, but prior acclimatization is not a big topic, which is a huge plus.
Peak 2: Mount Shuksan is arguably the most photographed mountain of North Cascades National Park. At 9135 feet it is not as high as Mount Baker, but the slightly lower starting elevation up and more technical summit tower certainly make the effort comparable. We will be climbing Mount Shuksan via the well known Sulphide Glacier route, which can be divided into three very distinct parts. You start out via a nice hike up the forest. This leads to the lower reaches of the expansive Sulphide Glacier, which in turn leads to the famous rocky summit pyramid. Here the mode of climbing switches from moderate glacier travel to exposed scrambling on 4th class terrain all the way to the lofty summit.
Peak 3: Sahale Peak has it all. At 8631 feet, Sahale is the "lowest" of the three summits, but maybe the most diverse in what the route has to offer. We will climb up into the famous Boston Basin and camp below Forbidden Peak. The route will take us up the Quien Sabe Glacier to the Boston-Sahale Col and from there to the summit. The summit views are considered the best in the Cascades by many climbers.
A few words about this Triology Trip: You will be climbing over 20000 feet of vertical over the course of 6 days of climbing. Even though not technically demanding, this trip is physically demanding, since the terrain is uneven, you are sleeping outside and for more than half the time you will be carrying an overnight pack. Very good physical fitness is a must for proper enjoyment of this amazing mountain experience.
Equipment List for Triology:
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
o Windshirt, Soft Shell, Fleece Jacket - only one of these is necessary
o Soft Shell type pants
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
o Down or Synthetic Jacket
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 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.
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 2 Locking Biners - (1) large HMS style and (1) regular locker
o 4 Non-locking Biners - any style, we prefer wire gate type
o 1 Cordelettes - 6 mm diameter, 6 meter lengths, untied
o 2 Sewn Slings - 1 single length (60 cm), 1 double length (120 cm)
o Ice Screws (2) - 13-17 cm length
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 Cooking Pots
o Technical Gear such as elaborate crevasse rescue kit and trad gear.
o Group 1st Aid Kit
o VHF radio or Satellite phone
Where will we be meeting? We will either be meeting in Glacier, WA or Marbelmount, WA. This will depend on weather and in which direction it would be best to travel. In most cases we will place to meet at the Ranger Station in Glacier, WA.
Driving directions to the Glacier Ranger Station: Take Interstate 5 north to Hwy 542 in Bellingham and go east to the town of Glacier. Driving time is about 3 hours from Seattle. The ranger station is located about 0.5 miles east of town on the right hand side. You can CLICK HERE for a Google Map link to the ranger station.
How big or rather small should my pack be? Try to fit your gear into a 50 liter pack.
Does PGS provide food? No, you are responsible for your own food. We are glad to help with food suggestions though. You can CLICK HERE to check out our food recommendations for packing for your trip.