Already climbed Mt. Rainier, Baker or Mt. Hood? Looking for the next step?
As guides living and working in the Northwest we run into a lot of climbers that have started their climbing careers on one of the big Northwest Volcanoes. For many of these climbers, their next steps are to climb higher and higher peaks around the world. Unfortunately, this progression is only possible by choosing climbs that do not involve much more than walking on steep snow.
The “Beyond the Volcanoes” program is set up to help the aspiring alpinist gain the skills needed to competently climb on technical terrain on a variety of mediums.
- Private courses can be scheduled anytime between May 15 – Oct 1, Contact us via email or call 509-996-3194 for details.
- 5 days of low ratio guiding
- Use of all technical climbing equipment including Harnesses, helmets, belay devices, ropes, etc.
- Travel to and from Mazama
- Food during the program (this can be arranged by NCMG at an additional charge)
- Personal climbing and camping equipment
- Lodging in Mazama
- Equipment list for Beyond the Volcanoes
- Essay: Training for alpine climbing
- Classic Climbs in the North Cascades
The start of the program focuses on rock climbing with a day of training at the granite crag in the valley. This venue gives the participant the ability to focus on new skills without having to deal with heavy packs filled with overnight gear. The skills covered on day one will teach participants all the necessary techniques to safely and efficiently climb and descend multi-pitch rock climbs.
The next day is spent high in the mountains climbing one of the classic climbs in the WA Pass area. There are a number of classic moderate routes in the Washington Pass area from which we will choose a climb for our summit attempt. Among these are the South Arete of South Early Winter Spire, and The Beckey Route on Liberty Bell. Early season climbs may require the use of an ice axe on the approach, whereas later in the season climbs can be reached via a climbers trail in light hiking boots. Once again the overnight gear will be left behind so participants can focus on the technical climbing.
Day three will have participants packing up and heading into the mountains for two nights. The venues NCMG uses for this section of the course include areas such as Mt. Shuksan, Boston Basin, and the Silver Star area. Instead of using the expedition style approach used on many of the volcanoes this overnight trip will use a lightweight alpinist style of travel which will allow for more enjoyment on the approach and will give the participants the ability to climb more technical objectives. Your guide will show you techniques for trimming the weight off your pack while still having everything you need, including a comfortable home in the mountains at the end of the day. The objective of this three day section will be to climb one of the high peaks in the area. This will involve steep snow, glacial climbing and technical rock. Participants will be able to put all of their skills together on one challenging, but obtainable objective. Ratios are kept low so participants can move at their own pace, picking objectives that suit their strengths while allowing them work on their newly acquired skills.
Participants should have basic mountaineering skills. These include climbing and descending on snow, self-arrest and the ability to travel as part of a rope team.
Crevasse rescue skills, while beneficial, are not required for this course. If you are feeling like you need a brush up on these skills, consider taking our 3-day Crevasse Rescue and Glacier Travel Course.