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.
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.
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for North Cascades:
First Ascent by Jim Nelson and Carl Dietrich in 1986 at 5.10 A2, The route went 20 years before a repeat, and 21 years later (2007) saw it's FFA by Max Hasson and Jens Holsten, 5.11+Pitch 1 - Rated 5.7 by the first ascentonists, this pitch is more like 5.9 or 5.10a, with less than obvious gear. Climb up a pillar, cracks, flakes, and occasional knobs, generally straight up. A belay can be made at ~40m on a small (think one foot) stance.Pitch 2 - The crux pitch. Follow thin cracks and knobs to the...[more]Browse More Classics in WA
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!