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Ski & Ride

Custom Ski & Ride Trip

Baker Backcountry Skiing and Riding

Mount Baker Ski Descent

North Cascades Ski Mountaineering

North Cascades Ski Traverse

Rock

Custom Rock Trip

Mt. Erie

Vesper

Alpine

Custom Alpine Trip

Mount Baker Easton Glacier

Mount Baker Coleman Deming

Mount Baker North Ridge

Shuksan Sulphide

Shuksan Fisher Chimneys

West Ridge of Forbidden

Ice Cap Slam

Olympus

Glacier Peak

Vesper

Pickets Traverse

Eldorado East Ridge

Ruth & Icy

Dorado Needle

CoursesView All

Ski & Ride

Custom Ski & Ride Course

Intro to Backcountry Skiing and Riding

Steep Ski Mountaineering

Glaciated Ski Mountaineering

Rock

Custom Rock Course

Gym to Crag

Learn to Lead

Intro to Big Wall

Anchor Building

Alpine

Custom Alpine Course

Glacier Mountaineering

Crevasse Rescue

Anchor Building

Avalanche

Custom Avalanche Course

AIARE Level 1

AIARE Level 2

AIARE Rescue Course

Avalanche Alumni Mentorship Days

Pickets Traverse
The Pickets are the most rugged, wild, and unexplored region of the North Cascades. With limited access points, steep terrain, brushy valleys, and glaciated peaks, the Pickets Traverse offers a unique challenge to those looking to really “get away from it all.” After getting a few miles from the trailhead, it’s common to not see another soul for days on end. Join us on an adventure like none other.
$2200 - $2950

Here’s What To Expect

Itinerary

Day 1: After a thorough gear check, you’ll shuttle to the Hannegan Pass Trailhead where you’ll don a heavy pack and begin your trek to Whatcom Pass. Views of gorgeous waterfalls, steep rock faces, and glaciated peaks help ease the suffering of the heavy pack. You’ll also experience one of the coolest river crossings of your life. In a cart!

Day 2: After a more leisurely morning, you’ll say goodbye to trails and attempt your first summit of the trip by traveling up and over Whatcom Peak via its NE Ridge. After tackling some exposed steep snow and rock, you’ll make your way onto the massive Challenger Glacier to your camp below Challenger Peak.

Day 3: You’ll rise early to attempt Challenger Peak. After navigating the glacier and some steep snow, the reward of a clean pitch of moderate rock climbing and some scrambling awaits. After rappelling back to the glacier, you’ll pack up camp and traverse the steep heather and rocky hillside of the Luna Cirque to Luna Lake.

Day 4: Waking up in the Luna Cirque surrounded by jagged peaks, you’ll rise to work your way up steep heather benches to Luna Col. After establishing camp in this astounding vista, you’ll don a light day pack and attempt Luna Peak, one of the tallest peaks in the range at 8,311’.

Day 5: With camp packed and much lighter packs than you started with, you’ll make your way down Access Creek. After bushwhacking your way through the Cascade bush, you’ll be greeted by the welcome site of the Big Beaver trail, which will take you all the way to where your water taxi on Ross Lake awaits. After taking a load off on the boat, you’ll don your pack for one more uphill to the car shuttle where much deserved pizza and beverages await.

Optional Day 6: Rest Day/Weather Day or summit attempt of the iconic West Fury.

Trip Details
Ratio
1 - 2 Guests Per Guide
Season
June - August
Duration
5 - 6 Days
Skill level
Intermediate +

Learn More

Skill Levels

Ski & Ride

Beginner

I’ve never (or only a handful of times) toured in the backcountry before.

Intermediate

I’ve toured a bit and been exposed to a variety of conditions in the backcountry.

Advanced

I’m a strong rider with at least a few seasons of experience touring in the backcountry riding a variety of conditions.

Expert

Skiing/Riding is life. I tour in the backcountry 60+ days per year and have many years of experience.

Alpine

Beginner

I’ve never (or only a handful of times) been alpine climbing before.

Intermediate

I’ve climbed a bit on snow as well as rock and understand the basics.

Advanced

I’m a strong climber with at least a few years of experience climbing snow, rock, and ice.

Expert

Climbing is life. I have many years of experience climbing big mountain objectives in steep variable terrain.

Rock

Beginner

I’ve never (or only a handful of times) been outdoor rock climbing before.

Intermediate

I’ve climbed a few outdoor multi-pitch rock climbs as a follower and understand the basics.

Advanced

I’m a strong climber with at least a few years of experience climbing multi-pitch routes outside (sometimes on lead).

Expert

Climbing is life. I have many years of experience climbing and am comfortable leading up to 5.9 trad.

Program Rates
$2200 - $2950

Learn More

Program Rates

Scheduled Programs

Scheduled Programs are open to all to sign up for. These programs are charged a flat rate per person, regardless of the number of people on your booking. This flat rate is often the same as the 3:1 per person rate. Scheduled programs tend to be more cost effective for groups of one or two people, and allow you to connect with other people with similar mountain interests and skill sets. 

Standard Programs

Day Rates
Overnight Rates
AIARE Courses
Ratio

1:1

1:2

1:3

1:4 +

Price

$500

$350

$300

$275

Ratio

1:1

1:2

1:3

1:4 +

Price

$550

$400

$350

$300

Ratio

Level 1

Level 2

Rescue

Mentorship

Price

$525

$525

$225

$100

Technical Programs

Cascade Mountain Ascents pays guides more when they are working in terrain that is more involved or poses higher objective hazard. Therefore, a surcharge is added to trips we deem Challenging ($100) and Complex ($200). A custom surcharge may apply to non-standard programs and will be worked out by the guide and administrative staff along with the guest(s) during program design. Here’s more information on Technical Program Surcharges

Learn More

Program Rates

Scheduled Programs

Scheduled Programs are open to all to sign up for. These programs are charged a flat rate per person, regardless of the number of people on your booking. This flat rate is often the same as the 3:1 per person rate. Scheduled programs tend to be more cost effective for groups of one or two people, and allow you to connect with other people with similar mountain interests and skill sets. 

Standard Programs

Day Rates

Ratio
Price
1:1 $500
1:2 $350
1:3 $300
1:4 + $275

Overnight Rates

Ratio
Price
1:1 $550
1:2 $400
1:3 $350
1:4 + $300

Day Rates

Ratio
Price
Level 1 $525
Level 2 $525
Rescue $225
Mentorship $100

Technical Programs

Cascade Mountain Ascents pays guides more when they are working in terrain that is more involved or poses higher objective hazard. Therefore, a surcharge is added to trips we deem Challenging ($100) and Complex ($200). A custom surcharge may apply to non-standard programs and will be worked out by the guide and administrative staff along with the guest(s) during program design. Here’s more information on Technical Program Surcharges

Program Cost Includes: Ropes, tents, stoves, fuel, 4 breakfasts, 4 dinners, water taxi

Program Cost Does NOT Include: Transportation other than water taxi

Trip Reviews
“I have skied with all of the guides at CMA and have had great experiences. They are passionate about their craft, and it shows in the experiences they provide. They know where to find the best skiing and have extensive knowledge of the local terrain.”

They do the essentials really well: they’re professional, knowledgeable and competent, great teachers, and always keep an eye on safety as every guide service must. What sets them apart for me is that they do all that AND make it FUN. Some of the best times I’ve ever had in the mountains are with this crew. I highly recommend them!”

I hired this guide crew for technical education and then returned for their recreational guiding services. I’ll continue to lean on Cascade Mountain Ascents to bring me further into the backcountry and advance my technical skills in the mountains.”

Zack and Cascade Mountain Ascents is the best choice for your adventure no matter your skill level. From beginner to seasoned pro, Zack has you covered. His knowledge and skills of all-terrain and mountain situations had us feeling safe and confident all the way.”