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North Cascades

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North Cascades  


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Location: 48.5093, -120.66 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Peter Franzen, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Lizzy Trower on Jan 30, 2006
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You & This Area
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Gaping crevasse on the Inspiration Glacier, North ...

Description 

The North Cascades are home to a huge number of sharp granite peaks with many excellent alpine climbs. With so much to offer and typical alpine approaches, you probably won't find mobs of other people. The granite is mostly very good, offering cracks, chimneys, flakes, roofs, etc. Summer is the time for alpine rock.

Getting There 

The general North Cascades area can be reached either by driving west on Highway 20 from I-5 (although Highway 20 is more often closed than not) or by driving east on Highway 2 to Leavenworth or I-90, then North on Highway 97 and North again on Highway 153, which meets up with the other side of Highway 20 in Twisp.

Climbing Season



Weather station 12.3 miles from here

83 Total Routes

['4 Stars',18],['3 Stars',36],['2 Stars',20],['1 Star',5],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',21],['5.7',2],['5.8',11],['5.9',6],['5.10',13],['5.11',12],['5.12',4],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for North Cascades:
Coleman Headwall   Steep Snow     Snow, Alpine, 2000'   Mt. Baker
Mount Baker, North Ridge   WI2-3 Steep Snow     Ice, Snow, Alpine, 3000'   Mt. Baker
Torment-Forbidden Traverse    5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Steep Snow     Trad, Snow, Alpine, Grade IV   Boston Basin : Mount Torment
West Ridge   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Mod. Snow     Trad, Snow, Alpine, 1500'   Boston Basin : Forbidden Peak
Beckey Route (SW Face)   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, Alpine, 3 pitches   Washington Pass : Liberty Bell
East Ridge Direct   5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches   Boston Basin : Forbidden Peak
West Ridge   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches, 600'   Silver Star and connected s... : Paisano Pinnacle
SW Rib   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 600'   Washington Pass : South Early Winters Spire
Northwest Corner (a.k.a. Boving-Pollack Route)   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches   Washington Pass : North Early Winter Spire
East Ridge   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 800'   Southern Pickets : Inspiration Peak
East Face   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, Alpine, 10 pitches, 800'   Washington Pass : Lexington Tower
East Face / Rebel Yell   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 800'   Silver Star and connected s... : Chianti Spire
Clean Break   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 15 pitches, 1500'   Silver Star and connected s... : Juno Tower
East Face   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 600'   The Gunsight Range : Middle Peak
Direct East Buttress   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches   Washington Pass : South Early Winters Spire
The West Face   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches   Washington Pass : North Early Winter Spire
The Hitchhiker   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches, 900'   Washington Pass : South Early Winters Spire
Liberty Crack   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c C2     Trad, Aid, Alpine, 12 pitches, 1200'   Washington Pass : Liberty Bell
ellen pea   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 900'   Washington Pass : m&m wall
The Passenger   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 900'   Washington Pass : South Early Winters Spire
Browse More Classics in North Cascades

Featured Route For North Cascades
The East Face of the Middle Gunsight, as viewed from the Blue Glacier. The face looks extremely distorted from this angle.

East Face 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b  WA : Northwest Region : ... : Middle Peak
This route follows a hidden line, which unfolds piece by piece with amazing climbing and perfectly clean rock.P1 - From the top of the Blue Glacier, work up ramps, slabs, and cracks to a flake with twin hand cracks, just left of a dark corner. 5.6P2 - Climb up th steep twin hand cracks, moving into the right crack/flake, and step right to belay on a ledge. 5.10bP3 - Move right to the quartz dyke fist crack, followed by delicate face climbing and stemming (RPs) before moving right on a flake and ...[more]   Browse More Classics in WA

Photos of North Cascades Slideshow Add Photo
Sunrise Eldorado Peak North Cascades NP
Sunrise Eldorado Peak North Cascades NP
Fog and mountain goats: must be the Cascades.
Fog and mountain goats: must be the Cascades.
Johannesburg from across the valley.  North Cascades
Johannesburg from across the valley. North Cascad...
Sunrise above the sea of clouds, Eldorado Peak, North Cascades NP
Sunrise above the sea of clouds, Eldorado Peak, No...
Weather rolling in looking SW from Buckner summit
Weather rolling in looking SW from Buckner summit
Cascade Pass area
Cascade Pass area
Deep crevasse on the "Coleman Glacier."
Deep crevasse on the "Coleman Glacier."
The Liberty Bell group and the North Cascades highway from below Burgundy Spire.
The Liberty Bell group and the North Cascades high...
Heading up Entiat Icefall on north side of Mt. Meade in 8/05. <br /> <br />Photo by Matt Schonwald
Heading up Entiat Icefall on north side of Mt. Mea...
A few pitches away from the summit of Burgundy Spire.
A few pitches away from the summit of Burgundy Spi...
Mount Baker. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Mount Baker. Photo by Blitzo.
Sunrise from Eldorado Peak high bivy. North Cascades
Sunrise from Eldorado Peak high bivy. North Cascad...
Sunset in the North Cascades NP
Sunset in the North Cascades NP
Washington Pass
Washington Pass
Mt. Baker. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Mt. Baker. Photo by Blitzo.
Lupine.  Boston Basin, North Cascades NP
Lupine. Boston Basin, North Cascades NP
Near the summit of Mt. Baker.
Near the summit of Mt. Baker.
Crevasse Rescue Practice
Crevasse Rescue Practice
Mt. Shuksan. <br />Photo by Blitzo.
Mt. Shuksan. Photo by Blitzo.
During a winter attempt on Whitehorse Mtn. near Darrington, WA
During a winter attempt on Whitehorse Mtn. near Da...
Rainier peaks out above the clouds while climbing Mt. Stuart
Rainier peaks out above the clouds while climbing ...
Mike Asaly - emergency rappel off the Ptarmigan Traverse.
Mike Asaly - emergency rappel off the Ptarmigan Tr...

Comments on North Cascades Add Comment
Show which comments
By OReid
From: Denver, CO
Apr 3, 2011
The North Cascades are composed of a wide variety of rock types, but primarily Skagit gneiss, not granite. The rock tends to be crumbly, but there are pockets of good firm climbing. Forbidden Peak, Gunsight Mountain, Dome Peak, and Goode Mountain come to mind as being particularly solid. As the pictures above indicate, it is not the rock quality, but the glaciation and alpine ambiance that make this range unique in the lower 48!