Late May to September
Seattle, WA, is a three-hour drive away
Beginner to advanced alpine climbers
Discover the best alpine rock destination in North America
Washington Pass is an obligatory stop when traveling through the North Cascades. Try out the Liberty Bell Group, Lexington Tower or Early Winter Spire — the possibilities for rock climbing are endless. Discover new lines and climb the awe-inspiring summits with a certified and experienced guide. The alpine atmosphere gives the climbs a new dimension while stunning views and climbs of grade 5.5 and up will leave you breathless in every way possible.
Most Popular Itineraries
A Customized Day of Climbing With a Private Guide
With dozens of classic climbs covering the full spectrum of difficulties, this adventure is ideal for anyone. Beginner alpine climbers can enjoy a day of learning the basic skills and techniques, while more experienced climbers can reach summits, explore the snow covered peaks and enjoy the distinctly alpine feel Washington Pass offers.
Day of Intermediate Alpine Rock Climbing
One of the most beautiful mountains of the Okanogan Range, Cutthroat Peak offers spectacular views over Liberty Bell, Whistler, and surrounding pristine alpine lakes and spires. An array of possible pitches and descents for grade 5.8 and higher makes this route a great choice for intermediate climbers. Get a feel for the sweeping granite walls and climb a summit that is not to be missed!
Day of Advanced Alpine Rock Climbing
The South Early Winter Spire offers plenty of opportunities for advanced and experienced climbers. The most popular route is the Direct East Buttress route, grade IV, 5.10+, that finishes with an unsurpassable view as you edge your way across a knife edge ridge with over 1,000 feet of exposure on either side. Some other possibilities are North Early Winter Spire or “Rebel Yell” Chianti Spire, offering perfect granite and great climbing in a beautiful alpine setting.
Juno Tower Clean Break
This is a serious two-day adventure with serious rewards. Rising 1500 feet above the valley, Juno offers solid, spectacular and sustained climbing for advanced climbers. Any experienced climber will appreciate the magnitude of undertaking a climb of Juno Tower’s Clean Break, especially after reaching the top and enjoying the spectacular views of the Wine Spires, and Liberty Bell Group surrounding it. Experience one of the finest multi-pitch routes at this grade in the US.
Things you need to know
Covid measures in Washington Pass
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Washington, please refer to Washington State’s Official COVID-19 Site.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!
Why should I book with 57hours?
With us, it’s all play and no work for you! 57hours is an open platform that connects you with trained and certified outdoor adventure professionals all over the world. Using our tech-savvy, we make it super easy to find and book adventures worth tackling, with guides worth booking, all gathered from the first-hand experiences of the locals who adventure in these amazing locations.
What you get in this adventure:
- A certified AMGA or IFMGA guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- One or two days of alpine rock climbing depending on your chosen itinerary
- All technical climbing gear
What’s not included:
- Park permits for the North Cascades National Park
- Snacks and meals
- Guide gratuity
Technical gear list
All technical climbing equipment will be provided by your guiding service. However, if you have your own gear, feel free to bring it. You’ll need:
- Harness with a locking carabiner, belay device and chalk bag
- Climbing hardware (quickdraws, cam devices, stoppers, etc.)
- Ice axe, steel crampons with anti-bot plates
- Trekking poles
What do I need to bring?
Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:
- Fleece or wool hat
- Neck gaiter
- Hardshell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex or equivalent)
- Lightweight wind shell
- Down or synthetic jacket with hood
- Long-sleeved base layer
- Long base layer pants (tights work well in the summer)
- Hardshell pants
- Softshell pants (wind-proof or wind-resistant)
- Leg gaiters (ankle to mid calf height works best in summer)
- Liner socks and wool socks
- Mountaineering boots that work with crampons
- Climbing shoes (available for rent)
- Daypack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 20L backpack for a one day trip, 30-40L for multi-day trips)
- Sunglasses or a visor hat
- Water bottle or hydration pack
- Food you can eat on-the-go
- Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, blister kit, toilet paper, etc.)
- Camera — optional
What if I’ve never climbed before?
For alpine climbing in Washington Pass, climbers should know how to safely belay a lead climber, have the ability to “clean” traditional gear, rappel and be comfortable following mid-fifth class rock. If you have topped a minimum of 5.5, there are routes you can successfully complete with the help of a guide.
For intermediate to advanced alpine rock climbers, Washington Pass has loads of routes to spend the day on. Your guide will discuss your objectives and customize the day to your goals. Let your guide plan the day so you can focus on developing your skills while climbing the classic routes. The more complex routes span from 5.8 – 5.11. You will have to carry a light-weight pack and move steadily for 7-9 hours. There is possibility of snow and exposed alpine rock on the approach that may require ice axes and crampons.
If you’ve never climbed before, we recommend taking an introduction to climbing course or spending a day with a guide learning the basics prior to booking this adventure. Let us know and we can arrange a custom day out with a guide for you.
What does a typical day look like?
Your climbing itinerary will be fully customized to match your skill level and objectives. You and your guide will discuss route selection, skills development, and whatever else you’d like to focus on. From there, your guide will plan the perfect day tailored just for you.
Your itinerary is subject to change due to inclement weather and other conditions. Depending on your objectives, full days may start earlier and end later, but in general, your day will look like this:
- 7:00 am: Meet your guide at the guide’s recommended location
- 7:30 am: Gear up and discuss safety, weather and possible routes
- 8:00 am: Hike to the base of your objective for the day
- 9:30 am: Climb your objective for the day
- 1:00 pm – 1:30 pm: Lunch (bring snacks and plenty of water)
- 1:30 pm – 6:30 pm: Continue your climb and enjoy the views
- 6:30 pm: Head back to the cars for debriefing and high fives
How fit do I need to be?
Most of the trips are physically demanding, and your ability to enjoy the adventure depends on your health and fitness. Your trip will be more rewarding if you prepare for it by conditioning properly well in advance. Although rock climbing is all about using good movement technique rather than muscling up a cliff using brute strength, alpine rock climbing does require a good level of fitness.
Climbers should have the ability to follow 5.5 – 5.11 rock depending on the itinerary, carry a light-weight pack and move steadily for 7-9 hours. There is possibility of snow on the approach that may require ice axes and crampons, and exposed alpine rock. To ensure you have a fulfilling day, your guide will choose routes that best suit your skill and fitness level.
What is the minimum age requirement?
- Everybody over the age of 18 is welcome to book this backcountry skiing adventure.
- Participants 15 years or older may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis if they are accompanied by a legal guardian.
If you plan to climb with anyone under the age of 18, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
What about group sizes and pricing?
The standard client to guide ratio is 2:1 and cost is per person. Costs per person will decrease as the group grows for private tours, so it’s the perfect opportunity to climb with friends and family.
Climbing days can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.
What about bad weather?
As the saying goes, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad preparation.” You can expect your guides to be fully prepared for anything. Inclement weather can always get in the way of climbing, but your guide will know the best spots to move to if the weather takes a turn.
On the rare occasion of truly bad weather, your guide will present you with suitable alternatives. The most common practice is to move to a nearby location if it exists, or to reschedule your climbing to a more favorable day.
If climbing is not possible on your scheduled day and no options presented are viable, you will be issued a full refund.
Do I need an insurance policy?
We highly recommended that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.
If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!
With 57hours, you benefit from both our own cancellation policy as well as that of the individual guiding service that delivers your adventure. All policies regarding cancellation will be clearly laid out by your guide after booking your adventure, but rest assured that our own cancellation policy will work on top of what is provided by your guide.
For this adventure, 57hours offers a Strict Cancellation Policy, which states:
If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to thirty (30) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total amount paid when Booking. After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund.
For more information on terms and conditions, please visit our Terms of Service page.
Getting there and meeting location
To get to the Washington Pass, most people fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. From there you can rent a car. Travel east from Newhalem (Highway 20) for 44 miles until you reach the Washington Pass.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether it’s at their office or at the trailhead. Once you meet up and go over gear and safety considerations, it’s time to start your day of alpine climbing in Washington Pass.