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wfinley

Questions about N Cascades Permits

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Hi all. Our local weather sucks so we booked a flight to Seattle where apparently the weather is amazing. Anyways.... (like everyone else) I'd love to climb Forbidden but am completely lost as how the permit process works and the chances of obtaining a permit. Likewise I've only climbed in the Cascades once so I'm totally open to other suggestions.

What is the likelihood of obtaining a permit for Boston Basin if we were to arrive at the Ranger station first thing Friday morning? If everything is completely booked what are some good moderate day routes in the same vicinity that don't require a permit?

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Hard to say. Always a crap shoot on a Friday. Boston Basin is popular for sure. Back up plan could be Eldorado, Liberty Bell Group, Cutthroat up the highway, no permit needed. Stuart is a good choice but bit of a drive from ranger station.

Edited by Whatcomboy

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Hard to say. Always a crap shoot on a Friday. Boston Basin is popular for sure. Back up plan could be Eldorado, Liberty Bell Group, Cutthroat up the highway, no permit needed. Stuart is a good choice but bit of a drive from ranger station.

 

or do something car to car. no permit needed

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If you can't get a permit, do Forbidden E Ridge Direct car to car. No glaciers or nasty gully to navigate, fewer crowds (though an early start is advised). You can simul-climb most of it so it goes pretty quickly and the descent off the backside is not as bad as people make out. The position is unparalleled.

 

E Ridge Direct TR

 

Sahale via Sahale Arm is pretty casual and can also be done in a day. Ditto Eldorado.

 

Yes, it's wonderful to camp in the alpine, but when you get old like me you realize life is better if you don't have to carry a heavy pack up thousands of feet. Free your mind and your ass will follow.

 

Oh, and the chances of getting a last minute Enchantment permit are even lower than N Cascades, so forget driving extra hours for that. The Full N Ridge of Stuart, however, needs to be on your list. It's a bigger day car to car than Forbidden.

 

Or go do Slesse, but fires and smoke and 4x4 vehicle...

Ah, youth.

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Everything on Forbidden is climbable car to car in a day, especially the West Ridge, so that is always an option.

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Lots to climb in the Silver Star/Wine Spires area as well with no permits.

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Thanks for the info. In regards to forbidden in a day... I'm sure it's doable, but when I'm unfamiliar with area and don't even know what the trailhead looks like, long days have a tendency to turn into late night snuggles on a rock ledge.

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Thanks for the info. In regards to forbidden in a day... I'm sure it's doable, but when I'm unfamiliar with area and don't even know what the trailhead looks like, long days have a tendency to turn into late night snuggles on a rock ledge.

 

Good point. I would do a ton of research and have a lot of back up plans should your first, second, third, etc. choices be full up. Boston Basin permits go fast, as do Mt. Triumph permits.

 

I've never had a problem getting a permit for the Boston Glacier, which puts the North Ridge, NW Face of North Ridge, and NW Arete of Forbidden within reach. Also, NF Buckner is accessed from the Boston as well. Eldorado Peak was mentioned, which has the West Arete, NW Face, East Ridge. Also Dorado Needle can be accessed from Eldorado. Washington Pass with the Liberty Bell group, Kangaroo Ridge, Wine Spires and Valsiliki Ridge are outside of the wilderness area and offer alpine cragging at its finest.

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Keep in mind that "first thing in the morning" may now be earlier than expected. We did a trip a few weeks back and when we showed up on Saturday morning at 6:30AM -- 30 minutes before they open the Ranger Station -- we were already number 10 in line. Forbidden zone permits were gone by the time our number was called and we got to the desk to register. Within a few minutes after 7AM, that line had grown to over 30 parties.

 

If you show up the afternoon before, I believe you can get a permit for a trip starting the following day. Also, once they close the station for the night, they are putting out a box of numbered cards so you can come in the evening and grab a number that puts you in a good spot for the next morning.

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If you show up the afternoon before, I believe you can get a permit for a trip starting the following day. Also, once they close the station for the night, they are putting out a box of numbered cards so you can come in the evening and grab a number that puts you in a good spot for the next morning.

Nice tip. Thx!!

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