PRICE

$1195

SCHEDULE

August 2 – August 5, 2021

DETAILS

Grade: Beginner
4 Day Summit 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.

Why Choose Northwest Alpine Guides

Since 2008, we have offered world-class climbs and courses throughout the Pacific Northwest. We make safety our foremost priority. We employ some of the most talented guides in the industry, and we maintain low client-to-guide ratios to ensure that you enjoy the best possible experience. We also offer a wide selection of rental equipment and other services from our Guide Hut in the town of Sedro-Woolley, Washington, the “Gateway to the North Cascades.” No other company operates a dedicated full-service facility so close to Mount Baker, Mount Shuksan and nearby peaks. To learn more about our services, history and philosophy please visit: Why Choose Northwest Alpine Guides.

Need help choosing a trip?
Read our Four-Legged Stool blog post for tips on finding the right adventure for you.

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 at the Guide Hut in Sedro-Woolley, WA for equipment check and orientation before heading 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

  • $300.00 deposit includes a $200.00 non-refundable registration fee, due with application.
  • Balance due 90 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. An average tip is 10 – 20% percent of the cost of the program, usually $100 – $200. Your guide team will pool all tips. 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.

Minimum Participants

Please note that a minimum of two participants is required to guarantee each departure at the advertised price.

Travel Insurance

We highly recommend that all participants consider travel and trip cancellation insurance after making a deposit. Travel insurance offers the best protection in the event of a sudden, unexpected illness, an injury prior to or while traveling, or a possible family emergency.

If you choose not to purchase insurance, you assume full responsibility for any expenses incurred in the event of a medical emergency and/or evacuation, as well as for trip cancellation, interruption, lost luggage, etc. Northwest Alpine Guides does not insure you against these risks. We ask that you consult your travel insurance carrier directly with questions.

For more info about current coverage plans and quotes please visit.

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance

Travel, evacuation and rescue coverage designed for adventure travelers.

For a quote, or to purchase travel insurance, please click this link Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™

  • Waiv­er for pre-exist­ing con­di­tions (must be pur­chased with­in 14 days of trip deposit)
  • Option­al ​“Can­cel for Any Rea­son” cov­er­age (must be pur­chased with­in 14 days of trip deposit)

Global Rescue

We recommend Signature Travel Insurance. For travel insurance or Global Rescue membership.

For a quote, or to purchase travel insurance, please click this link Global Rescue

Date Changes

Date changes may be requested at any time up to 45 days prior to your departure date for a $100.00 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 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

Northwest Alpine Guides may provide and prepare the following items for group breakfasts and dinners:

Breakfast: Oatmeal, Toasted Bagels with Cream Cheese, Pop Tarts, Granola Bars

Dinner: Chicken, Beef, Pork, Cheese, Noodles, Spaghetti, Tortellini, Rice, Beans, Fresh Vegetables, Tasty Bite Indian Meals, Freeze-Dried Meals

Hot Drinks: Coffee, Caffeinated Tea, Herbal Tea

Meal Concerns

We can accommodate most common food allergies. We do not serve fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, milk or eggs. For vegetarian diets, we are easily able to leave out the meat before serving group meals. For those with other dietary concerns, we recommend bringing food to supplement the pre-planned meals we provide. The Guide Hut offers a wide variety of freeze-dried meals for purchase, including vegan and gluten free options.

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 Guide Hut offers a selection of mountaineering equipment and clothing for purchase and rent.

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
Additional parking can be found across the street in the Park & Ride lot.

The Guide Hut

The Guide Hut serves as a meeting location, rental shop and retail store for guests of Northwest Alpine Guides.

During open hours at the Guide Hut, you may pick up pre-reserved rental items, try on rental boots, and purchase last-minute items. The Guide Hut offers a selection of retail items including outdoor clothing, glacier sunglasses, gloves, water bottles, cups, bowls, spoons, sunscreen, waste kits, moleskin, batteries, sports food, freeze-dried meals, Northwest Alpine Guides logo wear, and a selection of climbing equipment, including carabiners, cord and other items. Please visit the online Gear Shop for a list of available merchandise and to pre-purchase items.

The Guide Hut exclusively serves Northwest Alpine Guides customers. 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 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. If you wish to stay close to the meeting location the night before your climb, we recommend the following options:

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

Mountain Weather

For updated North Cascades weather forecasts, click here.

GEAR LIST

These items are required for our Glacier Peak climb.

The Guide Hut offers a selection of mountaineering equipment and clothing for purchase and rent. Gear may be purchased from the Guide Hut in person on the morning of your climb, or in advance via our Online Gear Shop. Rental gear must be reserved in advance using our quick rental form. Please read our Guide Picks blog post for gear recommendations by specific brands.

Shop the Guide Hut »Quick Rental Reservation »Gear Recommendations »

Head and Face

  • Warm Hat: Wool or synthetic. Must cover the ears.
  • Buff or Balaclava
  • Sun Hat or Baseball Cap
  • Glacier Glasses: Essential eye protection at altitude. Wrap around style or side shields. A category 4 lens is required.
  • Sunscreen: SPF 30+
  • Lip Balm: SPF 30+
  • Climbing LED Headlamp: Bring one extra set of batteries.

Upper Body

  • Baselayer Tops: Two synthetic long-sleeve shirts. Hoods for sun protection are strongly recommended.
  • Mid-layer Top: A synthetic or fleece top.
  • Softshell Jacket: This is a breathable but wind-and-weather resistant jacket. Hoods are highly recommended.
  • Hardshell Jacket: A fully waterproof shell. GORE-TEX© or equivalent. Hoods are required.
  • Insulated Jacket: Medium weight down. 700+ fill or higher required.

Note: Proper hardshell rain gear is required on all trips.

Handwear

  • Lightweight Softshell Gloves: One pair. Leather palms offer durability and grip.
  • Heavyweight Gloves: Insulated glove or mitten with GORE-TEX© or waterproof outer.

Lower Body

  • Baselayer Bottom: One pair. Synthetic, no cotton.
  • Softshell Pants: One pair. Synthetic, stretchy, non-insulated.
  • Hardshell Pants: One pair of GORE-TEX© pants. Full-length side zips are required; you may need to take off your hardshell pants without removing your boots.
  • Gaiters: Full-sized waterproof gaiters that must fit snugly over your mountaineering boots.

Footwear

  • Mountaineering Boots: Full shank crampon compatible double plastic, leather, synthetic, or hybrid boot depending on the season.

Note: Please read our Mountaineering Boots and Crampons guides for recommendations.

● Single-weight synthetic/leather mountaineering boots are adequate for mid- and late-summer climbs on Glacier Peak.
● We strongly recommend that you bring an alternate set of footwear for the 15-mile approach to our high camp on Glacier Peak. You may choose to bring a heavier pair of mountaineering boots and wear a lightweight, supportive pair of approach shoes during the hike in, or you may prefer to wear your mountaineering boots on the approach hike, and bring a pair of sandals to give your feet a rest around camp.
● Please call the NWAG Office if you are unsure which footwear choice is right for you.

X – NO backpacking or trekking boots are allowed above high camp on any trip. Climbing boots must be full shank and crampon compatible.

  • Approach Shoes (Optional): Light hiking boots or sturdy trail running shoes may be adequate for late-season approaches to high camp after trails are free of snow. Must be sturdy enough to support your ankles while carrying a carrying a 35- to 45- pound pack.
  • Camp Sandals: Lightweight Teva-style sandals for use in camp (optional)
  • Mediumweight Socks: Two pair of wool or synthetic socks.
  • Heavyweight Socks: One pair of wool or synthetic socks for sleeping in and for summit day.

Sleeping

  • Sleeping Bag: A warm bag rated 0ᵒ to 20ᵒ Fahrenheit depending on season.
  • Sleeping Pad: A full-length closed-cell foam and/or inflatable pad. Foam AND inflatable pads are recommended for camping on snow during early-season climbs.

Packing and Backpack

  • Backpack: One 65- to 75-liter pack for personal and group gear. Should have an effective waist belt, fit properly and provide good support while carrying 45+ pounds.
  • Liner Bags: 1 large plastic contractor bag.

Note: An adequately sized backpack is required. You are responsible to carry all of your personal gear and food, as well as a portion of group gear (tents, ropes, stoves, fuel, etc.). We do not recommend an additional pack for summit day.

Climbing Gear

  • Ice Axe: 55-75 cm mountaineering axe.
  • Crampons: 12-point steel with anti-balling plates.
  • Climbing Helmet: Lightweight
  • Alpine Harness: Lightweight alpine harness with adjustable leg loops.
  • Trekking Poles: Adjustable and collapsible with snow baskets.
  • Locking Carabiners: (2) Large pear-shaped, screw gate locking carabiners.
  • Non-Locking Carabiners: (1) Wire gate non-locking carabiners.

Hydration

  • Water Bottles: (2) 1-liter, wide-mouth plastic bottles. NALGENE©

Note: CamelBaks and other bladder-style hydration systems may be used in addition to two water bottles, but are not sufficient. Bladders may pop and hydration hoses freeze in the cold.

Personal Health and First Aid

  • Small personal first-aid kit with medications and blister kit
  • Plastic bowl, insulated mug, and spoon
  • Toilet paper, blue bag or wag bag
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Earplugs

FITNESS

Physical fitness is the foundation of every mountain adventure. A strong cardiovascular systemendurance, core strength, flexibility and balance let us safely enjoy the spectacular terrain and close camaraderie we find in the planet’s highest places. 

Mountaineering is a strenuous activity that imposes unique demands on our bodies. Running, swimming, cycling and other sports may help you prepare for your climb, but they are usually not sufficient. Even strong runners may struggle to carry a heavy pack over steep, uneven terrain for hours at a time. Do not underestimate the importance of climbing-specific training.

The following fitness guidelines will help you prepare for your climb. For your safety and the safety of your rope team, you must be able to maintain the pace set by our guides while maintaining reserves of strength. Moving more slowly can be dangerous. As the climbing day lengthens, we become fatigued and dehydrated. We lose precious daylight hours and we expose ourselves to quickly shifting mountain conditions and weather. 

Fitness Benchmarks

To safely enjoy this climb, you must be able to meet these benchmark times while maintaining reserves of strength. Our guides may turn around climbers who are unable to do so. We recommend training for Glacier Peak at least 3-6 months in advance.

  • You should be able to hike/climb for 1 to 2 hours at a time, punctuated by 10 minute breaks, for up to 12 hours.
  • You should be able to ascend 3,000 feet per day while carrying 20-25 pounds on your back, and 4,000 feet per day while carrying 35-45 pounds or more on your back.

Glacier Peak: South Side Route

To ascend the South Side Route, we must cover approximately 40 miles while hiking and climbing from trailhead to summit and back again, and ascend more than 9,000 vertical feet. Participants should possess solid backpacking skills, and excellent endurance and aerobic fitness.

Sloan Creek Campground Trailhead to White Pass Camp:

  • Distance: 10 miles
  • Ascent: 3,600 feet
  • Pack Weight: 45+ pounds
  • Time: 7-9 hours

White Pass Camp to Glacier Gap Camp:

  • Distance: 4.5 miles
  • Ascent: 1,400 feet
  • Pack Weight: 45+ pounds
  • Time: 8-10 hours

Glacier Gap Camp to Summit:

  • Distance: 2 miles
  • Ascent: 3,200 feet
  • Pack Weight: 20-25 pounds
  • Time: 4-6 hours

Training Resources:

Please read our Goals & Fitness guide for strategies to help you train for your climb.

Many climbers, particularly those who are new to the sport, will benefit from a workout plan designed to prepare you for the rigors of mountaineering. We recommend the following training resources:

Uphill Athlete
Mountain Tactical Institute

Frequently Asked Questions

What about safety?

No matter if you have never climbed before, our instructors are prepared to help you learn mountaineering from the ground up. In addition to professional instruction in climbing skills, most importantly, you will learn skills that will keep you safe in the mountains. With an adventure sport like mountaineering, safety is paramount.

All our instructors have advanced avalanche training, wilderness medical training, and will instruct you how to be self-reliant in the mountains. Mountain climbing can be unpredictable – weather conditions can change in a moment and one wrong step can lead to an injury. Northwest Alpine Guides will instruct you how to climb safely and successfully.

Peaks of the North Cascades

Click to read more about the Peaks of the North Cascades in Washington State.

SUMMIT CLIMBS

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Mount Shuksan Sulphide Glacier

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