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Hiking/Climbing in the Cascades?

Need a climbing partner? Trying to form a hiking group for an outing?
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Hiking/Climbing in the Cascades?

Postby nungunz » Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:38 am

Just moved to the area from Boulder, Colorado a few days ago and will be living in Bellevue the next 8 months or so.

I'm used to going out hiking 14ers in CO and am looking to continue the trend out there. I have experience with both fair-weather and winter hiking/camping, rock-climb about 5.10, but working steadily on improving.

Unfortunately college got my tied up with work and poor eating/workout habits this last semester so I'm sitting about 15 pounds more than I'd like to be.

I'm looking to go out and get back in shape as well as see all the sights the cascades have to offer. I was drooling coming in over Snoqualmie Pass and would love to get up into the mountains.

Would definitely like to get into/learn about ice climbing and glacial hiking as well.

Anyone know of a similar website for this or a good community? I've already posted at CascadeClimbers and I want to avoid The Mountaineers because of their idiotic fees. Anyone have good resources or contacts for hiking and climbing out there?

Work has me swamped during the week, but I do climb every other day or so at Stone Gardens. Other than that, I am free on the weekends and really want to get some summits in.

Looking forward to a great summer, but I'll miss my 14ers!

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Re: Hiking/Climbing in the Cascades?

Postby MTGOAT72 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:16 am


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Re: Hiking/Climbing in the Cascades?

Postby Brian C » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:27 am

Summitpost has many members that live in the NW.
Brian in the Wild
Lists of John
"Nature never did betray the heart that loved her." - Wordsworth

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Re: Hiking/Climbing in the Cascades?

Postby nungunz » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:12 am

Thanks for all the input so far!

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Re: Hiking/Climbing in the Cascades?

Postby dpwellington » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:02 am

My two cents ....

1) Jeff Smoot has several great climbing books on the Cascades which include many glacier climbs.
2) As far as the best hikes there is a bible called 100 Classic Hikes in Washington by Ira Spring (Author), Harvey Manning.
3) Doug Lorain also has a number of hiking guide books for Washington and Oregon that are top-notch.
3) Climbing the volcanoes is where many start out in Washington but there are many hikes and other lesser peaks that are 10's.
4) Avalanches are a very real concern in the Cascades and many of the snow-covered peaks/routes are not safe until early summer.
5) Mt. St. Helens is a popular peak for winter climbs.
6) Mt. Hood (OR) is also a good early season glacier climb but it is technical in nature. Not advisable for solo climbers due to the bergschrund - even though people do it every day.
7) Mt Adams has a standard route that is pretty much glacier free and is a good early season climb.
7) Standard routes on Mt Rainier, Mt Baker, Mt Olympus and Glacier Peak are all crevassed. Generally mid July to mid August are the safest times when snow bridges are still intact, but it is highly dependent on the snowpack.


For the glacier climbs, if you play it safe, you will need climbing partners. I found that good climbing partners are harder to find in Washington because glacier climbing presents a different challenge than rock climbing -- long hiking distances with finite albeit remote crevasse danger. My experience is that fewer people in Washington (relative to natives of Colorado) have much mountain experience. Of those that do have the technical expertise on glacier climbing (through organizations like the Mountaineers) they are not always in the best of physical shape (certainly relative to natives of Colorado). Glacier climbs can be maddening for this reason. If you can find someone who moves at your pace for one to two days of hard effort and he/she is technically competent in the areas of rope management, self arrest and crevasse rescue than you've find an ideal climbing partner. You have some links below for other organizations :)

Enjoy your time in Washington ;)

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Re: Hiking/Climbing in the Cascades?

Postby Dave B » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:13 am

The three volumes of the Cascades "Bible" can be found

here

here

and

here
"There is no cheating in climbing, only lying." - Semi-Rad

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Re: Hiking/Climbing in the Cascades?

Postby midwestcoast » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:26 am

^^ +1 on the Beckey guides, they're fantastic. WTA is great for conditions but it's a lot more hiking-trail oriented, not as much climbing info. When you're not in the mountains, go to a Sounders match while you're out there, if you're a sports fan at all and think soccer is boring, you'll be surprised.

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Re: Hiking/Climbing in the Cascades?

Postby TravelingMatt » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:31 pm

www.nwhikers.net tilts more towards hiking/milder outings while cascadeclimbers.com runs more "extreme" and technical. The difference is similar to 14ers.com vs. fourteenerworld when the latter existed. The nwhikers.net site should not be confused with the aforementioned nwhiker.com. There's also portlandhikers.org, whose community is similar to that of nwhikers.net.

Yes, the Beckey guides are wonderful. He does have a reputation of underrating outings by half a class or so. If he says "walkup" or Class 2, expect some scrambling. If he says Class 3, expect what many Colorado people would call 4. I doubt Beckey would rate any Colorado 14er standard route as 4.

The various Spring and Manning guides are worth getting at least as an intro, although they don't venture off established trails too much, and their moralizing can get annoying.
So pleas'd at first the towering Alps we try,
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,
Th' increasing prospects tire our wand'ring eyes,
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!
-- Alexander Pope

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Re: Hiking/Climbing in the Cascades?

Postby Dave B » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:44 pm

TravelingMatt wrote:Yes, the Beckey guides are wonderful. He does have a reputation of underrating outings by half a class or so. If he says "walkup" or Class 2, expect some scrambling. If he says Class 3, expect what many Colorado people would call 4. I doubt Beckey would rate any Colorado 14er standard route as 4.


Agreed.

I think this is a side effect from having more FA's than most people have days in the mountains.
"There is no cheating in climbing, only lying." - Semi-Rad

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Re: Hiking/Climbing in the Cascades?

Postby TravelingMatt » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:49 pm

Also, try to get an Enchantments permit during the lottery period (starts Feb 15 this year). Although if you don't get one, you can just do it the Colorado way of sleeping at the Colchuk TH, starting at 4 am and dayhiking it.

They don't have monsoons there, although a lot of the best outings are in the 15-20 mile range, so you'll want to start early anyway.
So pleas'd at first the towering Alps we try,
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,
Th' increasing prospects tire our wand'ring eyes,
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!
-- Alexander Pope

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Re: Hiking/Climbing in the Cascades?

Postby kaiman » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:54 pm

I used Jeff Smoot's book Best Climbs Cascade Volcanoes (and it looks like there is a new 2012 edition available) when climbing the Three Sisters, Mount Thielsen, and Mount Shasta this past summer and it had pretty solid, albeit brief info on dozens of routes. Like Mount Adams, the standard routes on the Three Sisters offer fairly crevasse free (although there are some they are easily avoidable) glacier climbs, with a bit of technical (Class 3-4) climbing thrown in for good measure.

People really seem to like Fred Beckey's books on the Cascades Link which combine both hiking and climbing routes. Also Mount Hood makes a great warmup for any of the climbs in the northern part of the range.

I am sure you will have fun wherever you go!

kaiman
"I want to keep the mountains clean of racism, religion and politics. In the mountains this should play no role."

- Joe Stettner

"Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste; look well to each step; and from the beginning think what may be the end."

- Edward Whymper

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Re: Hiking/Climbing in the Cascades?

Postby Brian C » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:00 pm

kaiman wrote:I used Jeff Smoot's book Best Climbs Cascade Volcanoes (and it looks like there is a new 2012 edition available) ...


The new edition is vastly superior to the old edition. Worth buying for sure!
Brian in the Wild
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"Nature never did betray the heart that loved her." - Wordsworth

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