Jump to content

10 days in the Northwest


Recommended Posts

I will be flying into Seattle on Sept 3 and renting a car. I am from Virginia and regularly backpack the Appalachian Mountains, however, this will be my first trip to the Cascades. I plan on camping every night and have all the camping gear, but have no helmet, axe, crampons, etc. I have no set itinerary, and plan on making it to Yellowstone and Glacier N.P. after I climb a mountain or two. I have studied and practiced the alpine methods of roping and rescue from the book "Mountaineering - Freedom in the Hills, 7th edition", and feel comfortable with the information. I would like some local information:


What mountains would you recommend that I climb solo? Mt. Adams, Rainier, Hood, St.Helens, Shasta?


Recommend a fair priced, large inventory, outdoor/climbing shop in the Seattle area?


What things should I not miss while in the Northwest? Space Needle? Fish Market?


Your thoughts.

Edited by razcob
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 10
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Do not solo Rainier. You will die.

S ridge of Mt. Adams, Hood, St.Helens, Shasta, maybe.

But you seem way overconfident to me. Climbing those mountains will humble you. Start with the s ridge of Adams or something on St Helens.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe go for Sahale, or Dragontail, or Argonaut, or Maude or Black Peak. All of those mountains will give you amazing views and amazing scenery without the chance of you falling in a crevasse. Seriously, you don't have to do the volcanoes to see the Cascades.


Also, if your not completely set on climbing, maybe go for a stroll on the Pacific Crest Trail. In my opinion, hiking the PCT is one of the best ways to see the Cascades.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Buy an ice axe and crampons and figger out how to use them. FOTH has directions. Then climb these:


Dragontail via Asgard Pass

Colchuck via Colchuck Glacier

Mt Stuart via Cascadian Couloir

Sahale via Sahale Arm

Mt Ruth via Ruth Glacier


Seattle has several good outdoor stores in the 'Outdoor Store District': REI, Feathered Friends, and Outdoor and More.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you're planning on doing an extended backcountry trip, you might consider the Pasayten, Chelan Sawtooth, or Glacier Peak Wilderness areas. There are topo maps available for each. These large areas offer an extensive trail system, many of the highest peaks in Washington, lots of non glaciated and varied terrain tailor made for soloing, and the kind of remoteness you won't find anywhere near the peaks you've mentioned. For example, St. Helens, while a great experience, is a crowd scene and is at least 4 hours of driving from any other alpine climbing area. It depends on what kind of experience you're looking for, of course. Finally, if you only have 10 days, it would probably be better to stick with one state at least.


In addition, the Pasayten, Chelan Sawtooth, and eastern part of the Glacier Peak areas are east of the Cascade crest, and so have a better chance of clear weather in Sept. If the forecast isn't great, one of our volcanoes is the last place you'll want to be.


Some trip ideas in these areas:


Pasayten: Carru Osceola Blackcap Monument peak area. Lots of solo peaks in a tight grouping.


Chelan Sawtooth: Oval Courtney Star peak area.


Glacier Peak: Just about anywhere.

Edited by tvashtarkatena
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For what it's worth, you're correct that Shasta's routes are in very poor condition this year with nearly no snow and lots of rockfall.


That said, people are heading toward Clear Creek for a non-technical (but still very physically challenging) climb. There is no snow on this route aside from the summit plataeu and you will only need some hiking poles (no axe, rope, crampons) and a strong tolerance to hours and hours of miserable scree hiking. Be VERY careful on the descent not to head into the Mud Creek drainage, which for some reason seems to attract climbers on the descent.


I agree with some of the others above though that climbing the Cascade volcanoes right now may not be the best use of your time out in the PNW and maybe some of the other suggestions would make a more enjoyable and memorable (in a good way) trip

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...