North Cascades Mountain Guides and North Cascade Heli combine forces to bring you a 3 day trip like no other. Spend two days touring the powder paradise surrounding Washington Pass with North Cascades Mountain Guides, where wide open bowls, tree-lined hallways and endless pillow stacks lay just a short snowmobile ride away. Then, bump it up a notch with a heli-assisted touring day at North Cascade Heli. Leave the skins in the bag on your way out the door because every trip starts with a heli drop at the top of a long, tasty powder run. Spend the rest of the day touring immaculate terrain high up in the mountains, far from places that your legs alone could carry you, and enjoy a scenic flight home once your quads can't take another untracked lap.
Packages are available midweek from mid-January through late March. Heli-assisted touring day may change based on weather conditions. Trips must be booked in groups of 3 or 4 people. Proficiency and experience in backcountry touring is required. Participants must also be in good physical condition to complete multiple full days of backcountry touring.
2 days of snowmobile access backcountry touring
1 day of heli-assisted backcountry touring
Use of avalance safety equipment including transceiver, shovel and probe
Guiding by certified, knowledgeable NCMG and NCH guides
Use of NCMG snowmobiles to access trailheads on Washington Pass
Sack lunch provided by the Mazama Store (Heli-Assisted Touring day only)
Ground transportation to NCMG and NCH base facilities
Alpine touring equipment or splitboards
Itinerary (Heli-Assisted Touring)
We meet early in the morning at the North Cascade Heli base of operations located on the Wilson Ranch at 31 Early Winters Drive, Mazama, WA 98833. Your guide will cover the itinerary for the day, weather and snow conditions, all clothing and equipment needed, avalanche safety protocols and rescue practice, helicopter safety briefing, and any remaining paperwork.
The early-morning helicopter flight straight to the goods eliminates the long energy-draining approach - and we land you on a peak for a warm-up run right off the bat. After touring and shredding powder all day you get a helicopter flight back to the Heli Barn. Our guides have unmatched knowledge of the terrain and snowpack to fully maximize your day of backcountry alpine touring or splitboarding.
Itinerary (Snowmobile Access Ski Touring)
We meet early in the morning at the North Cascade Heli base of operations located on the Wilson Ranch at 31 Early Winters Drive, Mazama, WA 98833 (this is temporary while our new facility, under construction, is ready Winter 2021). Your guide will cover the itinerary for the day, weather and snow conditions, all clothing and equipment needed, avalanche safety protocols, and any remaining paperwork. Then we head for the trailhead.
After the North Cascades Highway closes, much of our ski terrain can only be accessed by snowmobile. NCMG guides will instruct you on how to safely operate and ride a snowmobile. We have numerous snowmobiles that we utilize and carry all of our gear on a cargo sled. This also allows us to bring extra clothes, emergency equipment and other supplies that we can leave at the machines when we return for the ride home. You will ride up the highway via snowmobile to the base the objective. From there, you'll slap skins on your skis or splitboard and begin the ascent. At the end of the day, the snowmobiles will be waiting for the ride back down to your vehicle.
The North Cascades highway corridor has dozens upon dozens of touring options and runs, and we accommodate a wide variety of skier abilities. We have guided many first-time backcountry skiers and can customize a tour to focus on avalanche safety, advanced touring techniques, or just getting the best turns possible. These tours are offered almost every day of the winter with advance registration and arranged on a custom basis.
We have terrain to accommodate skier abilities from the enthusiastic intermediate to the expert ripper. Our terrain includes big alpine bowls, chutes, ramps, couloirs, and tree runs. The combination of untracked Eastern Cascade powder, high alpine terrain, and breathtaking helicopter rides will make for a day in the mountains that you will never forget. Because our guides are out there most days of the winter, they are tuned in to finding the best snow and the terrain.