Late June
Early Aug

About the Course Options


The Cascades are a great place to level-up your climbing skills, in no small part thanks to the abundance of excellent guide services in the region. Two of the top operators are the American Alpine Institute and Mountain Madness, which also happen to be two of the best in the world. If you’re looking for a mountaineering course, you’re likely to find dozens of fixed departure options that work with your timing. This means you can optimize for pricing, core objectives, and itinerary, all without having to go through the effort of organizing your own group and private guide. As a bonus, the Cascades are easily accessible from Seattle and full of charming mountain towns, like Leavenworth, Winthrop, and Twisp.

There’s a reason they call the North Cascades the American Alps—mountains beyond mountains. And once you get off the beaten path, you’ll find almost nobody else.

- Christopher Solomon

The Cascades are known for having a huge variety of terrain, including glaciated peaks, multi-pitch climbing routes, and steep scrambles. This makes it perfect for those looking to develop well-rounded mountaineering skills, as you can practice ice climbing, glacier travel, crevasse rescue, avalanche risk awareness, rock climbing, and ski mountaineering all in one awesome outdoor playground. Since the region is relatively low altitude by mountaineering standards, you’ll be able to focus on skills development without the mental challenges of operating on low oxygen. One of the most popular mountains for training purposes is Mount Baker (10,781 ft) since you can reach its massive glaciers within hours of departing from the Heliotrope Ridge Trailhead. Other popular mountains that feature heavily in mountaineering courses in the Cascade Range include Mount Rainier (14,410 ft), Eldorado Peak (8,868 ft), Mount Shuksan (9,131 ft), and Glacier Peak (10,541 ft).

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