North Cascades Private

The North Cascades are known as the American Alps and live up to the name. Steep rock, hanging glaciers and beautiful meadows of heather are a few of the many highlights of this incredible National Park. This private alpine climbing program allows you pick the routes and timeframe that is right for you and tour team.
Mt Shuksan North Face in early winter
North Cascades Private
Climber the Gullies Rappel on Mt Shuksan in Washington
Climber climbing South Gullies on Mt Shuksan in Washington
Climber on the North Face of Mt Shuksan above a lake
Climber on the North Face of Mt Shuksan during a Blackbird Guides North Cascades Private Mountaineering trip
Climber on the North Face of Mt Shuksan at sunrise
 Climber on the North Face of Mt Shuksan above a lake
Mt Shuksan North side in early winter

Overview

The North Cascades are known as the American Alps and live up to the name.  Steep rock, hanging glaciers and beautiful meadows of heather are a few of the many highlights of this incredible National Park.  

The climbing ranges from mellow glacier climbing to steep ice and 5th class rock.  Often climbers choose to extend their North Cascades trip with a climb of Mount Baker's North Ridge.  It's an awesome combo that integrates the incredible rock of the North Cascades with the steep ice climbing of Baker's North Ridge.

Routes

 

We can guide any route in the North Cascades National Park but we need to make sure you're up to the commitment grade of the route with physical fitness and technical skills.  If this is your first time climbing with us, we'll need to review your experience and potentially do a less committing route first.

Some of our favorite offerings are:

Shuksan Fisher Chimneys

Shuksan North Face

Forbidden West Ridge

Forbidden North Ridge

Forbidden NW Face/NW Rib

Torment SW Face

Eldorado East Ridge

Requisite Experience 

Generally, the routes of the North Cascades are for experienced climbers who move well on 3rd class rock terrain, steep, firm snow and are accustomed to challenge of climbing rugged terrain with a full pack.  We do have a few options for climbers with excellent fitness that are looking to gain experience in alpine terrain.

The best way to approach these climbs is to reach out and start a conversation about what is best for you and your group.  Email Us! 

    Mt Shuksan North Face in early winter
    North Cascades Private
    Climber the Gullies Rappel on Mt Shuksan in Washington
    Climber climbing South Gullies on Mt Shuksan in Washington
    Climber on the North Face of Mt Shuksan above a lake
    Climber on the North Face of Mt Shuksan during a Blackbird Guides North Cascades Private Mountaineering trip
    Climber on the North Face of Mt Shuksan at sunrise
     Climber on the North Face of Mt Shuksan above a lake
    Mt Shuksan North side in early winter
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, North Cascades Private
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Climber the Gullies Rappel on Mt Shuksan in Washington
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Climber climbing South Gullies on Mt Shuksan in Washington
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Climber on the North Face of Mt Shuksan above a lake
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Climber on the North Face of Mt Shuksan during a Blackbird Guides North Cascades Private Mountaineering trip
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Climber on the North Face of Mt Shuksan at sunrise
    • Load image into Gallery viewer,  Climber on the North Face of Mt Shuksan above a lake
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Mt Shuksan North side in early winter

    Dates

    Available Dates

    June - August 2022 / 3:1
    June - August 2022 / 2:1
    June - August 2022 / 1:1

    Prices

    Mt Baker Price List
    Mountaineering Private
    Private RatesPer Person / Per Day
    1:1$990
    2:1$590
    3:1$470

    Itinerary

    We'll work with you to create a custom itinerary for your trip.

    Equipment

    Technical Gear

    ❏ Climbing Helmet

    ❏ Headlamp - with fresh batteries

    ❏ Climbing harness (alpine or rock harness)

    ❏ Two Locking carabiners - Petzl Attache, etc

    ❏ Climbing boots - LaSportiva trango, Scarpa Charmoz or similar

    ❏ Gaiters - OR mini gaiters to keep snow out of boots

    ❏ Crampons (Steel crampons that are compatible with your boots)

    ❏ Ice Axe (55 to 65cm Axe)

    ❏ Trekking Poles - adjustable preferred

     

    Layers

    ❏ Sun Hat

    ❏ Sun Glasses

    ❏ Warm Hat

    ❏ 2x Buffs or face masks (These are for warmth and wind protection and are

    required for Covid-19 face coverings)

    ❏ Long sleeve base layer top

    ❏ 1 to 2 fleece weight upper layers (I'm using a Patgonia R1 and Nano Air)

    ❏ Puffy - Mid Weight Down/synthetic, Patagonia Fitzroy or similar

    ❏ Waterproof Shell Jacket with Hood - Gore-Tex (or similar) - basic, lightweight shell, NOT

    insulated

    ❏ Gloves-TWO pair

    ❏ one pair light/mid weight for warm temps

    ❏ one mid/heavy weight for cold

    ❏ Socks - TWO pair. Both mid-weight wool/synthetic

    ❏ Underwear - wool/synthetic

    ❏ Sports Bra - wool/synthetic

    ❏ Goggles (bring to gear check, we may choose to leave at the car depending on Weather

    Forecast)

    ❏ Long johns (bring to gear check, we may choose to leave at the car depending on Weather

    Forecast)

     

    Camping & Backpacking Gear

    ❏ Sleeping Bag (20F) - down preferred due to weight and pack-ability.

    ❏ Sleeping Pad - Inflatables are comfortable, but make sure it is insulated for sleeping on

    snow! Therm-a-rest NeoAir X-Therm or X-Lite are expensive, but excellent.

    ❏ Compression Stuff sack for sleeping bag

    ❏ Backpack - 50L (or the smallest bag that fits all of your gear and your share of the group

    gear). Black Diamond Speed 50 or similar work well for this.

    Other Essentials

    ❏ Sun Screen (SPF 30 minimum)

    ❏ Lip Balm (with SPF)

     

    Food and water

    ❏ Two freeze dried dinner meals (or meals that can be made with just hot water):

    I recommend Backpacker's Pantry Pad Thai, and Mountain House Pasta Primavera, but

    everyone has strong opinions on freeze dried meals. If you know you don’t like or do

    well with Freeze Dried, please let me know and I will forward some

    “just-add-water” options.

    ❏ Two Breakfasts:

    Grits with cheese, oatmeal, cold cereal with powdered milk, bagel and cream cheese,

    PB and J sandwich, mountain house freeze dried.

    Bring whatever sounds appealing for a midnight breakfast.

    ❏ Instant Coffee (if you’re a coffee drinker, now is a bad time to kick the habit!)

    ❏ Decaffeinated tea for evening hot drink

    ❏ Cup of 1⁄2 liter Nalgene Bottle (for hot drinks). I prefer the 1⁄2 liter Nalgene so that I can

    use it for water on the climb as well.

    ❏ Bowl

    To keep things light and compact, I use the freeze dried dinner bag for my breakfast

    bowl, but some people don’t like the remaining flavors. If that’s the case, bring a light

    bowl (lightweight tupperware works great)

    ❏ Spoon - choose a long handled spoon if you’re eating freeze dried food out of the bag.

    Normal spoons make it hard to reach the food and it gets messy.

    ❏ Snack Food - 3 days worth of snacks. I usually break this down as:

    ❏ Water - bring two liters capacity. I prefer using a 1⁄2 Liter Nalgene for hot drinks and a

    soft/collapsible 2L Hyrdrapack Bottle) Please bring at least one hard sided water

    bottle.

    ❏ Hand Sanitizer (Bring extra due to increased use for Covid-19)

    ❏ Toilet Paper

    Optional

    ❏ First Aid/blister Kit

    ❏ Chemical hand warmers

    ❏ Hydration System (Camelback, etc). Please bring an additional hard sided water bottle if

    you choose to bring a hydration system.

    Know Before You Go

    Location

    North Cascades, WA

    Elevation

    3,000-11,000'

    Technical Difficulty ⚫⚫⚫⚪⚪

    Generally routes in the North Cascades require proficiency in a variety of skills including crampon and ice axe techniques, basic rope skills, experience with belaying, rappelling and technical climbing on 4th and 5th class rock and alpine ice up to AI3.

    Physical Difficulty ⚫⚫⚫⚪⚪

    Most routes in the North Cascades offer challenging approaches, often on steep, rugged terrain with a heavy backpack.  You should be in excellent physical condition no matter which routes you choose for your private program!

    Trip Length

    You set the length of this trip!

    CONTACT US FOR 2022 DATES

    Email us to schedule custom dates for your program!

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    $470.00
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