North Cascades Descents-Riding The American Alps

  • Dates: Custom and 2020 – April  11-12, 18-19, 25-26; May 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 30-31
  • Duration: 2 Days
  • Level: Advanced
  • Client Ratio: 4:1
  • Cost:
    • 2 Days– $695
  • Included: All meals while on the mountain, tents, stoves, cook kits, group climbing equipment, and guide services.
  • Not Included: Airfare, transportation within Seattle, ground transportation hotel accommodations, restaurant meals, gratuities for guides, and all personal items.

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North Cascades offer best the alpine ski tours in the US with legendary descents of :
  • Ruth-Icy;
  • Snow King;
  • Eldorado;
  • Sahale
  • Shuksan
  • Logan
  • Buckner
  • Rainy Pass
  • Nooksack Traverse
  • Isolation Traverse
Sahale Descent-Riding the Chief of Cascade Pass
  • Dates: Custom April-June
  • Duration: 2 Days
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Client Ratio: 4:1
  • Cost:
    • – $695
  • Included: , tents, stoves, cook kits, group climbing equipment, and guide services.
  • Not Included: Airfare, transportation within Seattle, transportation to trailhead, hotel accommodations, All meals while on the mountain, restaurant meals, gratuities for guides, and all personal items.

Sahale Descent from 8,680 ft. (means Great Chief) ride down the center of the North Cascades! Tour into the Boston Basin region of the North Cascades National Park, up the Quien Sabe Glacier surrounded by Sharkfin Tower, Boston Peak, and Sahale Peak. Remarkable alpine views accompanied with easy glacier climbing make this one of the most appealing glisse descents of the Cascades. From the summit take in the views of Forbidden Peak, Eldorado Peak, Mt. Buckner, Mt. Shuksan, and the rest of the North Cascades. Don’t forget your camera! The mountain’s abundant alpine terrain  with great bowls, faces and tree skiing makes this a great weekend tour!

ITINERARY

Day 1:We drive from Seattle to the trailhead and head up Midas Creek with a strenuous tour to high camp at the base of the Quien Sabe Glacier. We will also have time to discuss in detail the aspects of the climb necessary for safety and efficiency. The afternoon is dedicated to setting camp and enjoying a run. The remainder of the evening is spent making final preparations for the next day’s summit attempt.

Day 2:The second day begins a pre-dawn start (~5:00 am) we climb up and on our way toward the summit. Depending on conditions and the pace of the group, it takes from three to six hours to reach the summit. From the top, we have stunning views of the morning sunlight rising above distant peaks. Our descent includes a short 35-40 degree headwall with rolling glacial terrain back to our camp. After a quick snack, we break camp, head down the mountain with great old growth tree riding, arriving back at the trailhead by 2- 4 p.m.

Shuksan-Riding Thunder Mountain
  • Dates: Custom April-June
  • Duration: 2 Days
  • Level: Advanced
  • Client Ratio: 4:1
  • Cost:
    • – $695
  • Included: All meals while on the mountain, tents, stoves, cook kits, group climbing equipment, and guide services.
  • Not Included: Airfare, transportation within Seattle, ground transportation hotel accommodations, restaurant meals, gratuities for guides, and all personal items.

Shuksan Descent from 9,127′ down the most photographed mountain in the world offers one of the great ski descents in the NW. From gentle glaciers to the steepest ice south of Canada, there is a route for everyone!  A taste of the Alps without the crowds, makes this one of the best ski descents in the Cascades with steep faces, narrow couloirs, gentle glaciers and old growth forests. There are many descent options for a range of abilities:
Sulphide Glacier;
White Salmon Glacier;
Nooksack Traverse;
NW Couloir;
North Face;

Follow this up with an ascent of the highest peak in the North Cascades of Mt. Baker on the Coleman Deming glaciers taking in the view of the amazing BC Coast Range and the Pacific Ocean.

Day 1: We drive from Seattle to the trailhead. The hike to base camp takes from 2‑5 hours, passing through alpine meadows and clusters of Mountain Hemlock before making camp and take in the rugged spectacular ridges and icefalls that set Shuksan apart from the Volcanoes.

Day 2: A long day begins with a pre-dawn start on moderate glacier climbing over parts of three different glaciers to the summit pyramid. From here you will have views of the complex glaciers beneath us as well as the surrounding peaks of the North Cascades! We then descend the climbing route, back to our tent. After descending, we will enjoy the afternoon, break camp, head down the mountain, and arrive back at the trailhead to celebrate our run.

Eldorado Peak Bagging and Other Great Descents
  • Dates:
  • Duration: 2-3 Days
  • Level: Expert to Advanced
  • Client Ratio: 4:1
  • Cost:
    • 3 Day trip – $795
  • Included: All meals while on the mountain, tents, stoves, cook kits, group climbing equipment, and guide services
  • Not Included: Ground transportation, airfare, transportation within Seattle, hotel accommodations, restaurant meals, gratuities for guides, and all personal items. A detailed equipment list will be sent to all participants.

Eldorado is the Queen of the Cascades with her crown, the Klawatti Icecap! Klawatti and Eldorado Peaks  take you far away from the crowds of Whistler and Chamonix while offering up some of the most rugged terrain in the Lower forty-eight.

By adding an extra day you can add a few more summits and descents such as Klawatti South Face, Eldorado Northeast Face, Dorado Needle and the Torment Couloir.

ELDORADO  ITINERARY:

Day 1
6:30am orientation. After an initial meeting and equipment check, we drive from Seattle to the trailhead and begin our hike to up, 5-6 hours get you to the high camp on the Eldorado Glacier.

Day 2

Ski a bunch of peaks, Eldorado, Klawatti, Austera, Dorado Needle…
Day 3

Ski something then descend back to the car..

Our recommended clothing system has four layers.
  • Base layer: manages moisture and wicks perspiration away from your skin. (Polypro, capilene, driclime)
  • Softshell: should be a durable, comfortable, insulating and wind/water resistant layer that breathes well.
  • Hard shell: windproof, waterproof and breathable.  (e.g. Gore-Tex, or similar)
  • Insulating layer: should be down-fill or synthetic-fill and fit over all layers. (e.g. down, primaloft or polarguard)

These four layers are usually sufficient for most people, but if you tend to be colder bring one extra medium-layer that would be ideal for extra warmth around camp, such as a vest. When deciding what to pack, remember to bring enough clothes and accessories to ensure your safety and comfort, while not over-burdening yourself with items you probably won’t use.

Climbing/Ski Gear
  • Skis or snowboard. Skis should be equipped with alpine touring bindings or telemark bindings. We prefer split decision Snowboards w/ skins because you do not need snow shoes.
  • Adjustable Ski Poles
  • Alpine touring, telemark, snowboard boots crampon compatible
  • Skins
  • Ski Crampons Required for all ski mountaineering trips
  • Alpine climbing harness  Must have adjustable leg loops and fit over all clothing and can be put on with ski boots
  • 2 Locking carabiners Large, pear-shaped carabiner is best.
  • 2 Regular carabiners lightweight
  • 1 Single Length Runner/Sling
  • Ice axe  Lightweight
  • Crampons with anti-ball plate  Must be fit to boots prior to trip,
  • Climbing/ski helmet  Adjustable, should fit with hat on
  • Glacier Travel/Crevasse Rescue *Optional on Summit Descents Prussiks/Ropeman/Microtraxion & Tibloc
Upper Body
  • 1 synthetic T-shirt
  • 1 long sleeve Sun Hoodie or shirt Lightweight, light colored for sunny days
  • 2 synthetic sports bras*(WOMEN)
  • 1 soft shell jacket
  • 1 Down/synthetic jacket with hood
  • 1 Hard shell jacket with hood Waterproof and breathable. Gore-Tex or equivalent is best, roomy enough to fit over multiple layers.
  • 1 pair lightweight gloves
  • 1 pair warm waterproof gloves
  • Warm hat Wool or synthetic
  • Balaclava/Buff
  • Shade hat or Visor
Lower Body
  • 2 pair med- heavy wool/synthetic socks Check boot fit with liner and wool socks on
  • 1 pair lightweight long underwear
  • 1-2 pairs of underwear boxers/briefs
  • Softshell pants
  • Shell pants Waterproof/breathable with full side zips
Sleeping Gear
  • Sleeping bag Rated to at least 20º F. Line the stuff sack w/ plastic bag.
  • Sleeping pad 1 closed cell foam and/or Neo-Air for extra warmth and comfort.
Backpack
  • Internal frame pack 3500-4500 cubic inch capacity able to carry snowboard/skis
Miscellaneous Equipment
  • Goggles and Glacier glasses 100% UV protection with side shields or wrap around.
  • Personal first aid repair kit Basics: moleskin/blister kit, Band-Aids, first-aid tape, ibuprofen, personal medications, spare parts for bindings and batteries etc.
  • Lip balm At least SPF 20
  • Sunscreen At least SPF 40
  • Headlamp lightweight LED
  • 2 water bottles 1 liter wide-mouth Nalgene and 1 bottle holster, or
  • Hydration bladder With drinking tube and 1 Nalgene bottle
  • Bowl and spoon Plastic, small Tupperware works well. Lexan spoons are best.
  • Toiletry kit Be sure to include WAG Bag or toilet paper stored in a plastic bag.
  • 1-2 Large plastic bags Good for keeping miscellaneous gear dry
  • Nylon stuff sacks For food and gear storage (large Ziplocs are also useful
  • Bandana
  • Hand wipes
  • 1 small stainless steel thermos (Optional)
  • Favorite snack foods (no more than 2 pounds)
  • Camera
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WILL MY GUIDE (OR GUIDES) BE?
You will receive an introductory email with the instructor for your course. We are small company who enjoy working together in the mountains as well as highly skilled professionals who hold current Wilderness First Responder certification and are proficient in technical rescue and evacuation skills. Our guides are dedicated to the world of alpinism, many having first ascents and hold professional certifications with AIARE & AMGA. The AMGA is part of the IFMGA, which is the international body of certified mountain guides.

HOW MUCH SHOULD I TIP MY GUIDES?
Tipping is considered standard practice in the guiding industry. Tipping amounts vary – so $15-20 per day per person/per guide is average that works well for the guides without a serious blow to your wallet. Often 10% of the course cost is a good rule-of-thumb. If you feel that the program was exceptional or substandard the tip can reflect that.

CAN I RENT EQUIPMENT FROM BCAG?
Yes, we rent Beacons, Shovels, Probes and Packs here. If you need these plus touring equipment, Second Ascent rents avalanche safety equipment, alpine touring, tele and split boards click here. Quantities are limited so please contact us as soon as possible if you are interested.

HOW HEAVY WILL MY PACK BE?
You will carry 10-15 pounds, which will include everything on the equipment list.

WHEN DO I NEED TO PAY THE BALANCE OF MY TRIP?
Payable when you make your reservation by check, or credit card.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I NEED TO CANCEL MY TRIP?
If you should decide to cancel your trip, BCAG must be notified in writing. Your trip will be cancelled from the date we receive written notice. You will be assessed a cancellation fee according to the following schedule:
90 to 22 days from trip departure – 50% of trip cost
30 days or less – 100% of trip cost

WHAT HAPPENS IF I WANT TO CHANGE THE DATES OF MY TRIP?
Schedule changes are subject to a $50 fee per person up to 2 weeks out and $100 less then 14 days from the start of the trip and may not be possible. If conditions or circumstances preclude running a scheduled program we reserve the right to make the decision as to whether the program will be canceled, rescheduled, or an alternative provided.

WHAT HAPPENS IF BC ADVENTURE GUIDES HAS TO CANCEL MY TRIP?
In the rare circumstance where we need to cancel a program you can reschedule without a fee or receive a refund on your deposit. If circumstances arise that force us to cancel a program that is already in progress we reserve the right to decide whether a refund or credit, at a prorated rate, will be issued. We are not responsible for cancellation fees or costs arising from your changed or cancelled flights, lodging, or other arrangements. We strongly recommend obtaining trip cancellation insurance from your travel agent.

DO I NEED TO PURCHASE TRIP INSURANCE?
BCAG highly encourages the purchasing of trip cancellation and travel insurance on domestic trips and requires it on International trips. Europeans and Canadians use it because travel insurance provides coverage for trip cancellation and interruption, travel delays, loss of baggage and travel documents, baggage delays, medical expenses and emergency assistance.
Several options include Travelex or Travel Guard International at (1-877-248-8992) & www.travelguard.com for protecting your investment, however there are many companies to choose from and you may wish to do some individual research regarding which policy is right for you.

WHEN SHOULD I PLAN TO LEAVE A RETURN HOME?
We often get this question because most people need to know how much total time they need to take off work. Our Avi and Ski Tours begin by 8 AM at the trailhead and return to the car by 3. Our return to Seattle on the last day typically allows you to get back between 5-7 with the descent and drive back.