PRICE

$1245

SCHEDULE

July 30 – August 2, 2020

DETAILS

Grade: Beginner
4 Day Climb

 
 
 

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OVERVIEW

At 10,525 feet, Glacier Peak is the fourth tallest volcano in Washington State. Located deep in the stunning alpine terrain of the Glacier Peak Wilderness, as ascent of this mountain offers a true wilderness climbing experience far from the more heavily trafficked slopes of the other major Cascades volcanoes.

Glacier Peak • 4 Day Ascent

Known as “Dakobed” in the language of the nearby Sauk Indian Tribe, Glacier Peak stands alone in the Glacier Peak Wilderness. It is the most isolated of the five major Washington State volcanoes, a massive, tantalizing objective visible in the distance from Mount Baker, Mount Rainier and other Cascade peaks.

We approach the Standard South Side climbing route via a well-maintained, 14-mile trail that begins in dense, old-growth red cedar forest on the North Fork of the Sauk River. Eventually, we emerge into high alpine meadows near White Pass and the Pacific Crest Trail, where we make our first camp. The following morning, we leave the trail behind and hike cross-country over Glacier Gap to our high camp, where we rest and review climbing skills before our summit climb. The following morning, we rope up and ascend moderate snow slopes across the Gerdine and Cool glaciers to the summit.

Glacier Peak is suitable for strong hikers with no previous mountaineering experience, but also an excellent choice for experienced climbers who want to visit a remote region of the Cascade Range. Our four-day itinerary allows ample time for our professional guides to introduce the basic mountaineering skills necessary for a safe and successful climb. Breakfast, dinner and hot drinks are provided on the mountain. To minimize pack weight, we utilize the lightest available high-quality mountaineering tents, stoves and group equipment.

Glacier Peak Approach

  • Approach Time to Camp: 7-10 hours
  • Trailhead: Sloan Creek Campground, 2100 ft.
  • White Pass Camp: 5900 ft.
  • Glacier Gap Camp: 7300 ft.
  • Vertical Gain from Trailhead to Summit: 9200 ft. gain
  • Trail synopsis: From Sloan Creek Campground, we follow Trail 649 along the North Fork of the Sauk River. After 5.5 miles, we reach the Mackinaw Shelter Camp. We continue on Trail No. 649 up switchbacks for roughly 2,500 vertical feet until a rising traverse takes us to White Pass, just below its intersection with the Pacific Crest Trail. We make camp at 5,900 feet. From White Pass, we follow the Foam Creek Trail on an ascending traverse under White Mountain. We leave the trail and head up to the Eastern Col at about 6,600 feet, where we enjoy our first views of Glacier Peak. A 400-foot descending traverse leads to low-angle terrain that takes us up to the former edge of the White Chuck Glacier at roughly 6,700 feet. Numerous campsites are available here on flat snow, but we continue north across the former bed of the White Chuck Glacier to our high camp at the col on the edge of the Suiattle Glacier at 7,300 feet. From here we descend 100 feet to the nose of the Disappointment Cleaver and the beginning of our climbing route to Glacier Peak’s snowy summit.

Climb Highlights

  • Enjoy a Northwest Alpine Guides adventure and summit a classic, glaciated volcano.
  • Climb the fourth highest glaciated peak in Washington State.
  • Breakfast, dinner and hot drinks are provided on the mountain.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1 • Hike to Camp
Day 2 • Hike to High Camp
Day 3 • Summit Day
Day 4 • Hike to Trailhead

Qualifications

This ascent is an entry level summit climb and is suitable for climbers in excellent physical condition with no prior mountaineering experience. No extra acclimatization is necessary for this program. Read our Goals and Fitness page for recommendations on how to best physically prepare for this adventure.

3 to 1 Climber to Guide Ratio

We lead the Glacier Peak route at a 3 to 1 climber to guide ratio to ensure that you receive personal attention and hands-on instruction throughout the climb.

Northwest Alpine Guides holds a Special Use Permit and is an authorized outfitter guide within Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

“In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination: write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD).”

ITINERARY

Climb begins and ends in Glacier Peak Wilderness

Plan to arrive the day before the climb begins.

Day 1 • Hike to Camp  • 5,900 feet

Meet at our Guide Hut in Sedro-Woolley, WA.

Northwest Alpine Guides will provide you with a detailed PreClimb departure book upon registration including personal gear list, meeting location and driving directions.

Our alpine guides will meet you for team introductions, gear check, and group gear distribution. The drive to the North Fork of Sauk River trailhead at 2,300 feet takes approximately two hours.

We hike nine miles to our first camp at White Pass through 700-year-old Western Red Cedar forest. From camp, we enjoy impressive views of Sloan Peak, the Monte-Cristo area, and the Dakobed Range.

Vertical Gain Hiking: 3,600 feet
Hiking Time: 7-8 hours

Accommodations: Tented Camp
Meals Included: Dinner (D)

Day 2 • Hike to High Camp • 7,300 feet

Today we hike to our high camp at Glacier Gap, above the former bed of the White Chuck Glacier. From White Pass, we travel cross-country through challenging alpine terrain then descend into Glacier Peak Meadows before making the final ascent to our high camp near the Suiattle Glacier. We refresh our climbing skills, then eat dinner go to bed early in preparation for the next morning’s alpine start.

Vertical Gain Hiking: 1,400 feet
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours

Accommodations: Tented Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner (B, D)

Day 3 • Summit Day • Glacier Peak • 10,525 feet

Our summit day starts early with a pre-dawn alpine start. From high camp, we climb moderate snowfields around Disappointment Peak to the Cool Glacier. We ascend the Cool Glacier, eventually traversing a snow and rock arête before stepping onto Glacier Peak’s icy summit. From the summit, we enjoy panoramic views of the Glacier Peak Wilderness, Mount Baker, Mount Rainier and the peaks of the North Cascades. We descend to high camp, pack our gear and continue back to our White Pass camp for the evening.

Vertical Gain Climbing: 3,200 feet
Climbing Time: 6-8 hours

Accommodations: Tented Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner (B, D)

Day 4 • Hike to Trailhead

After breakfast, we break camp, pack our gear and retrace our steps back to the trailhead. We usually arrive at our cars by mid-afternoon and conclude our adventure in Sedro-Woolley.

Vertical Descent Hiking: 3,600 feet
Climbing Time: 6-8 hours

Meals Included: Breakfast (B)

Plan to depart the day after the climb ends.

Itinerary Notes
Northwest Alpine Guides makes every effort to uphold the scheduled itinerary, although our guides are given discretion to adapt the itinerary for reasons beyond our control or due to the needs of the group. Meal schedule: (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner

DETAILS

Where to Meet

At 8:00 a.m. on the morning of the climb, we meet in Sedro-Woolley, WA, for an equipment check and orientation before driving to the trailhead. We will email you detailed PreClimb information including a gear list and full departure details upon receiving your registration.

Deposit and Payments

  • $500.00 deposit includes a $250.00 non-refundable registration fee, due with application.
  • Balance due 120 days prior to start date.
  • The balance can be paid by check, or credit card.

Price Includes

  • Guided climb and instruction
  • Scheduled meals on the mountain (breakfast, dinner, hot drinks)
  • Professional mountain guide
  • Group equipment (including tents, ropes, stoves, etc.)
  • Wilderness Permits

Price Does Not Include

  • Transportation
  • Trailhead parking fees (Northwest Forest Pass)
  • Lunch and snack food
  • Personal gear
  • Hotels or lodging
  • Trip cancellation insurance
  • Medical and evacuation coverage
  • Staff gratuities

Guides

Our instructors are highly skilled professional guides who have been selected based on their technical proficiency, proven safety records, careful judgment, patience, and supportive teaching styles. They are dedicated to a climbing lifestyle, and collectively have climbed throughout the earth’s major mountain ranges. Our guides are friendly, very willing to share their own experiences, and can help you develop a plan to achieve your own climbing ambitions. All our guides carry current certification in wilderness first aid.

Tipping

Our guides are dedicated mountain professionals who work hard to ensure your success and wellbeing on the mountain. If you have a positive experience, gratuities are an excellent way to show your appreciation. Tips normally average 10 – 20% of the cost of the program. If you prefer to transfer funds electronically, please send gratuities through paypal.me/mountaingurus

Summit Attempt

Northwest Alpine Guides cannot guarantee that you will reach the summit. Weather, route conditions, your own abilities, or the abilities of other climbers may create circumstances that make an ascent unsafe. You or your entire party may have to turn around without reaching the summit. Failure to reach the summit due to a team member’s own lack of fitness or to any of the events associated with mountaineering (such as weather, route, avalanche hazard, team dynamics, etc.), are not NWAG responsibility and will not result in refund or reschedule.

Age Guidelines

Participants age 16 & 17: May participate in fixed-date group itineraries if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Participants age 15 and younger: May only participate in private climbs and must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

All minor climbers must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian throughout the entirety of the program. If either the minor climber or the guardian needs to descend at any time during the program, both climbers must descend together.

Travel Insurance

We highly recommend that all participants consider travel and trip cancellation insurance. Travel insurance offers the best possible protection in the event of a sudden, unexpected illness or injury prior to or while traveling. Northwest Alpine Guides does not insure you against these risks. For more info about current coverage plans and quotes please visit.

Global Rescue

We recommend Signature Travel Insurance.
For travel insurance or Global Rescue membership.
Click here for a quote

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance

For travel, evacuation and rescue coverage.
Click here for a quote

Date Changes

Date changes may be requested at any time up to 45 days prior to your departure date for a $150.00 fee per person. Date changes are subject to availability and apply only to the current climbing season. No date changes allowed less than 45 days before departure.

Cancellations

Since departures require a minimum number of participants, Northwest Alpine Guides must adhere to a stringent refund policy. The policy is intended to protect participants who have otherwise committed time and resources to the departure. Please read our Online Reservation for Terms and Conditions.

MEALS

During the Glacier Peak 4-Day Climb, Northwest Alpine Guides will provide group meals consisting of three (3) breakfasts and three (3) dinners. You will need to provide your own lunch and snack food on the mountain.

Mountain Lunches

We recommend that you bring a variety of snack food to eat while moving. On each day, we will encourage you to eat at regular, short maintenance breaks, roughly once every hour. These snacks can be critical for maintaining a steady supply of energy while moving up and down the mountain. We will not stop for a big lunch break.

Some examples of snack foods include dried meats (salami), jerky (turkey, beef, fish), tuna fish, cheese, crackers, bagels, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, candy bars, gummy candy, cookies, energy bars and trail mix.

We cannot overstate how critical it is for you to bring foods that you enjoy eating. Eating properly is the key to maintaining strength in the mountains. We recommend a selection of sweet, sour and salty food.

When preparing lunches, please do not bring food items that require cooking or extensive preparation.

Day 1: Lunch & snacks for hike from trailhead to camp

Three or four 15-minute lunch & snack breaks

Day 2: Lunch & snacks for hike to high camp
Three or four 15-minute lunch & snack breaks

Day 3: Lunch & snacks for climb to summit and descent
Four 15-minute snack breaks on the ascent from high camp to summit, two or three 15-minute snack breaks on the descent from summit to camp

Day 4: Remaining snacks for the descent to trailhead

Group Meals

Here is an example of meal items NWAG provides and our guides will prepare during group breakfasts and dinners.

Breakfast: Oatmeal, Bagels, Pop Tarts, and Granola Bars

Dinner: Chicken, Beef, Pork, Pasta, Noodles, Tortellini, Rice, Beans, Vegetables, Tasty Bites, Cheese

Hot Drinks: Coffee, Caffeinated Tea, Herbal Tea

Meal Concerns

For those with special meal concerns we recommend bringing food to supplement the pre-planned group meals we provide. We can accommodate most common food allergies. We do not serve fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, milk or egg. For vegetarian diets, we are easily able to leave out the meat before serving group meals.

Northwest Alpine Guides is unable to accommodate vegan, gluten-free, or other special meal concerns. Freeze-Dried foods are available for purchase.

TRAVEL

Getting There

At 8:00 a.m. on the morning of the climb, we meet at the Guide Hut in Sedro-Woolley, WA for equipment check and orientation before heading to the trailhead. Upon receiving your registration, Northwest Alpine Guides will email you complete PreClimb information, including a gear list specific to your itinerary and other departure details.

The small town of Sedro-Woolley, “The Gateway to the North Cascades,” is approximately 70 miles and a 1.5-hour drive from Seattle or Bellevue. Limited services are available in Sedro-Woolley. More extensive food, shopping and lodging options may be found nearby in the cities of Mount Vernon and Burlington.

The Guide Hut / Northwest Alpine Guides
305 F And S Grade Road
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284

Click here for directions
Parking can be found across the street in the Park & Ride lot.

We sell a selection of basic mountaineering equipment in our Sedro-Woolley location. Following the gear check and orientation you will have an opportunity to stop at a market for other last-minute items.

The Guide Hut

On the day of your climb, you will meet your guides at the Guide Hut for group orientation and gear check. For participants on our 3-day and 5-day mountaineering courses, the Guide Hut opens on Thursday afternoons from 4-6 p.m. the day before the climb, and on Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. the day of the climb. For participants on other 2-day and 3-day climbing itineraries please refer to your PreClimb registration email for exact meeting times and location.

During open hours at the Guide Hut, you will have an opportunity to pick up pre-reserved rental items, try on boots, and purchase last-minute items prior to driving to the trailhead. The Guide Hut offers a selection of retail items such as outdoor clothing, glacier sunglasses, gloves, water bottles, cups, bowls, spoons, sunscreen, carabiners, climbing cord, waste kits, mole skin, batteries, freeze-dried foods, as well as NWAG logo wear. Visit the Guide Hut online store for available merchandise.

The Guide Hut serves Northwest Alpine Guides climbing customers only. It is not open to the public, and does not serve customers outside of scheduled operating hours.

Flight Travel

Most climbers will fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) the evening before the program and rent a car for the hour and forty-five minute drive to Sedro Woolley, Washington. Please note that Seattle traffic is worsening and driving times from Seattle and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport may be significantly longer.

Our Northwest programs begin at the date, time and meeting location listed in the itinerary in your PreClimb Information. Meeting locations may vary depending on program destination. Climbers flying to Washington State must arrive the day before their program begins in order the meet the group for an early morning gear check and orientation. Return times on the final day of the program are difficult to predict. We strongly recommend that climbers book a hotel night following the final day of their itinerary and schedule departure flights on the following day. If departing on the last day of the program, we recommend booking a flight later than 10 pm.

Transportation

Transportation between the meeting location and the trailhead is not included in the price of the trip. Guides are not responsible for providing transportation to team members. We serve both local and out-of-town climbers in our Northwest programs, and many of our guests prefer to use their own vehicles. Team members are free to organize rideshares with other team members. With your permission, our office staff can share your name and contact information with other team members so that you can organize ridesharing. The NWAG office does not coordinate ridesharing or carpooling and we are unable to share customer or guide contact information due to privacy concerns. In rare cases, Northwest Alpine Guides staff may provide limited transportation between the trailhead and Sedro-Woolley / Seattle / Bellevue as a fee service.

Trailhead Parking

You will need to obtain a NW Forest Pass or equivalent parking permit to leave your car at the trailhead lot. Single-use passes are $5.00 per day. They can be purchased in advance or the day of the gear check. A National Parks pass may suffice.

Driving Directions

From Seattle

Take I-5 North towards Burlington to Cook Road in Skagit County.
Take exit 232 from I-5 N

Turn right onto Cook Road, Head East to Sedro-Woolley
Follow Cook Road to Borseth Road in Sedro-Woolley, 7 min (4.3 mi)

At the traffic circle, take the 3rd exit and onto Borseth Road
Turn left onto F & S Grade Road

The NWAG Guide Hut is the first building on your left

From Bellingham

Take I-5 South towards Burlington to Cook Road in Skagit County.
Take exit 232 from I-5 S

Follow Cook Road to Borseth Road in Sedro-Woolley, 7 min (4.3 mi)
Turn left onto F & S Grade Road

The NWAG Guide Hut is the first building on your left

From Burlington

From State Highway 20 East, at the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit onto Cook Road (after the Walgreens)

Follow Cook Road to Borseth Road in Sedro-Woolley, 7 min (4.3 mi)
Turn left onto F&S Grade Road

The NWAG Guide Hut is the first building on your left

Hotels

Lodging in Burlington and Sedro-Woolley, Washington. For those who wish to lodge close to the meeting location the night before the climb, the following options are recommended.

Three Rivers Inn Hotel
210 Ball Street
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Burlington
9384 Old Hwy 99 North
Burlington, WA 98233

La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Burlington
1670 S Burlington Blvd
Burlington, WA 98233

There are many hotel choices in Seattle, Bellevue and Issaquah.

Red Lion Hotel Bellevue
11211 Main Street
Bellevue, WA 98004

Motel 6 Seattle East Issaquah
1885 15th Pl NW
Issaquah, WA 98027

Mountain Weather

For updated North Cascades weather forecasts, click here.