Classic Northwest Ski Traverse

The Forbidden Tour is an undeniable classic. It combines breathtaking scenery in the heart of the North Cascades National Park with long glaciated ski/ride descents.  The combination of snow covered terrain and travel on skis allow us to efficiently cover a lot of ground while exploring the national park with a lot more solitude than in mid summer! In addition to completing an outstanding multi-day tour, we will also help you learn new skills -- from navigation to rope work to winter camping, this tour has it all!


Our standard itinerary completes the Forbidden Tour in three days, but we can easily add a fourth day to allow for a more relaxed itinerary with room for additional ski descents on the neighboring peaks.

Day 1 – We will meet in Marblemount and head up Cascade River Road to the Boston Basin trailhead (this may involve some walking on the road) and up into Boston Basin. We will camp near the base of the Quien Sabe Glacier with views of Sahale, Forbidden and Johannesburg mountains, among others.

Day 2 – We will ascend towards Sharkfin Col using skis and then switch to boots and crampons to tackle the steep climb. We will rappel onto the spectacular Boston Glacier for a fun ski descent. Then it’s up and over the North Ridge of Forbidden and down the long descent to Moraine Lake where we will make camp.

Day 3 – From Moraine Lake, we will ascend the Inspiration Glacier to the base of the east ridge of Eldorado Peak and eventually down Rousch creek to the Eldorado trailhead and our vehicles. With enough energy and time, we can go for an extra ascent and ski descent of the east ridge of Eldorado.


Gear List
Skills Required

The Forbidden tour involves about 4000 vertical feet of up and down per day. While the descents are by no means extreme, spring ski conditions can be highly variable, so you should arrive in good fitness with strong skiing ability. If you feel comfortable skiing black diamond runs in the ski area in any conditions (ice, moguls, powder, chunder), then you’ll be able to tackle this tour and have a great time doing so! If you have any questions about your ski ability, please feel free to give us a ring to discuss. Or, better yet, come do some ski training with us in the North Cascades to get your fitness and technique ready for this longer tour.