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© PACIFIC ALPINE GUIDES LLC  |  Winthrop, WA  |  info@pacificalpineguides.com

ASCENTS
PREPARING FOR YOUR CLIMB

PRE-TRIP EMAIL

Final details including the name of your guide(s), meeting time/location, etc will be sent out 1-2+ weeks prior to your trip.

 

EQUIPMENT

Please refer to the website page for your trip for a gear list specific to your program. Be sure you have everything on the list, and if you have questions about a specific item, don’t hesitate to ask. The following items are often misunderstood, and are critical to our success. In general, where we meet for the start of our programs is quite far from any gear shops, so it's essential that you arrive with the right equipment.

  • Boots. Make sure your boots are appropriate to your climb. We require the use of proper mountaineering boots — hiking boots are not acceptable for the high alpine environment. If you are not sure if your boots will work, don't hesitate to email us a photo. The ideal mountaineering boot for snow and ice climbs like Mt. Baker is a 4-season full shank leather boot like the La Sportiva Nepal Evo GTX, or a synthetic double boot. For climbs like Mt. Olympus and Mt. Shuksan that involve climbing on alpine rock, a 3/4 shank 3-season leather boot like the La Sportiva Trango Tower GTX is ideal.

  • Crampons. It's important to check the size and fit of your crampons at home prior to your trip. Be sure your crampons are modern and in good working order. Crampons that will not work: microspikes, Yaktrax, Scottish style crampons (old school crampons with leather straps).

  • Parka. It's easy to underestimate the need for warmth, especially in the summer. Be sure to bring a substantially warm insulated parka with a hood - not just an ultralight puffy or a winter ski jacket. This should be down or synthetic insulation with a high warmth to weight ratio. In addition to providing comfort at breaks, this is an essential safety item.

  • Gloves. Bring a warm pair of gloves in a addition to a lighter pair - think ski glove weight. Warm gloves are an essential safety item.

  • Trail shoes. Approach or trail shoes are recommended for mid to late summer climbs.

FOOD

  • breakfasts & dinners: Bring meals that can be cooked just by adding boiling water. Examples include freeze-dried pouches (Mountain House, Backpackers Pantry), ramen noodles, instant oatmeal, hot drinks, etc. Avoid foods that require active cooking time (ex: dried pasta).

  • lunch food: In the mountains, “lunch starts after breakfast and ends before dinner”. In other words, on a given day we generally won’t stop for a formal lunch break, and instead we’ll snack all day long. Be sure to bring foods that you like and emphasize variety. Energy bars and gels are great but in limited amounts – real food works just as well and tastes better.

PACKING TIPS

  • Arrive with your pack mostly packed.We'll have a couple group gear items for you - usually part of a tent, and a fuel canister. These can be repacked at the trailhead.

  • Loosen all of the external straps on your pack, and if your pack has a sleeping bag divider, unzip it so that you're working with one big tube. The goal is to pack as tightly and balanced as possible, while minimizing the number of items strapped to the outside.

  • Line your pack with a trashbag for waterproofing, and think in terms of priority. Items you won't need access to on the approach (sleeping bag, insulated parka, extra socks, dinner food..) can go towards the bottom. Pro tip: Use your the compression sack for your sleeping bag for more than your sleeping bag.

  • Have you hard shell jacket and pants, an extra layer, food, water, and sunscreen towards the top.

VEHICLE PASSES / FEES

TRAVEL INSURANCE

We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance for your program. Learn more here.

ACCOMMODATIONS

For the trips listed below, accommodations in the following locations work well:

  • Mt. Olympus: The town of Forks, WA is approx. one hour from the trailhead. Port Angeles is a bigger town, and is approx. two hours from the trailhead.

  • Mt. Baker: Coleman-Deming & North Ridge: Bellingham, WA has a plethora of hotels and other lodging options and is approx. one hour from the town of Glacier, where we meet for these programs.

  • Mt. Baker: Easton and Squak Glaciers: Mt. Vernon, WA has a good selection of hotels and is approx. 20 minutes from Sedro Woolley, where we meet for these programs.

  • Mt. Shuksan: Sulphide Glacier: Mt. Vernon, WA has a good selection of hotels and is approx. 20 minutes from Sedro Woolley, where we meet for these programs.

  • Mt. Shuksan: Fisher Chimneys: Bellingham, WA has a plethora of hotels and other lodging options and is approx. one hour from the town of Glacier, where we meet for these programs.

  • Forbidden Peak, Eldorado Peak, Sahale Peak & Boston Basin: Marblemount, WA options include The Totem Motel and camping at the Wilderness Village RV Park.

TRAVEL

For any of these programs, fly into to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Generally the easiest, and most economical option for transportation to and from these locations is to rent a car. For the most part, these trailheads are accessible by any economy rental car (4WD not required).

Flights: We recommend arriving a day before the start of your trip. If you are planning your outbound flight on the last day of your program, we recommend flying no earlier than 8pm.

WEATHER FORECASTS

The simplest and most reliable resource for mountain weather in the Pacific Northwest is the National Weather Service.

TIPPING

While not a requirement, gratuities for guides are greatly appreciated. The amount is at your discretion and should be based on the quality of your experience. Typical amounts are 10-15% of the program cost.

QUESTIONS?

Contact us at info@pacificalpineguides.com or using the Contact page.