Top three reasons to go alpine rock climbing in Washington
Admire the stunning scenery of the Evergreen State all around you
Develop new skills on amazing routes to conquer rocky, alpine terrain
The best granite climbing in Washington and perhaps the world can be found in Index
Filled to the brim with outstanding climbing locations, the state of Washington is a one-stop destination for learning how to take on the complex and rocky alpine terrain on your own. One location which sticks out in this regard is Index, a small town where big climbing opportunities are thick on the ground. With thin and hard cracks on the top-tier granite cliffs on offer, you’ll be able to learn a whole host of valuable skills and techniques such as anchor building and evaluation, efficient multi-pitch transitions, crack climbing techniques, and many more! Once your guide shows you how to implement these techniques, it’s time to climb some multi-pitch objectives either in Snoqualmie Pass or Mountain Loop Highway. Learn how to manage scrambling and low fifth class terrain on routes varying from 5.4 to 5.8 in Snoqualmie Pass and 5.7 to 5.8+ on Mountain Loop Highway, and you’ll be able to tackle alpine rocky terrain head on!
May through September
Seattle, WA, is about an hour away from all climbing locations
Intermediate to advanced
Choose how you spend your days
Private Alpine Rock Climbing Courses in Washington
Join this alpine rock climbing course with a private guide in Washington! Start with leading traditional routes and build up to multi-pitch routes while managing the alpine terrain. Learn various techniques in Index and make your way either to South Face and East Face in Snoqualmie Pass or Ragged Edges and Blueberry Buttress in Mountain Loop Highway and Darrington. Climb multi-pitch objectives and learn how to manage scrambling and low fifth class terrain.
Group Alpine Rock Climbing Courses in Washington
Spend 6 days in Washington and work on various techniques and climbing styles. Kick things off by learning about leading traditional routes and climb multi-pitch routes in alpine terrain. After learning about gear selection, anchor building, multi-pitch transitions, rope management, route finding, and much more, head to Snoqualmie Pass or Mountain Loop—ideal areas to conquer multi-pitch objectives and manage scrambling and low fifth class terrain.
Day 1: Arrive in Index
Once you arrive in Index, Washington, your expert guide will show you all you need to know about gear selection, traditional gear placement, and anchor building and evaluation using traditional gear, natural anchors, or terrain features. Prepare for the next day because you’ll learn a whole bunch of new techniques that will push your rock climbing skills to a new level.
Days 2-3: Learning various techniques
On the second and third day you’ll still be in Index and will get to hear about and apply safe leading techniques for trad climbing. Your guide will also talk about route finding and topos as well as efficient anchor building and evaluation for multi-pitch climbing with traditional gear or terrain features. You’ll see how to implement methods to belaying a follower, learn about efficient trad multi-pitch transitions, rope management, and efficient multi-pitch rappel transitions. Continue learning about route finding and topos.
Day 4: Crack climbing
This is the last day in Index and your guide will talk about student leadership on short multi-pitch trad routes. You’ll also work on crack climbing techniques and fundamental multi-pitch self rescue including ascending, hauling, and lowering.
Days 5-6: Climbing in Snoqualmie Pass or Mountain Loop Highway
Over the next two days, you’ll move either to Snoqualmie Pass or Mountain Loop highway for the final objectives of the course. Your guide will teach you how to manage scrambling and low fifth class terrain. You’ll climb some of the following multi-pitch objectives:
- South Face, The Tooth, Snoqualmie Pass
- East Face, Chair Peak, Snoqualmie Pass
- Ragged Edges, Vesper Peak, Mountain Loop Highway
- Blueberry Buttress, Exfoliation Dome, Darrington
Meet your guide
The Climbing School
Things to know
Covid measures in Washington
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 traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Washington, please refer to the Washington State Coronavirus Response and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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!
What you get on this adventure:
- An experienced, local rock climbing guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- 6 days of alpine rock climbing courses
What’s not included:
- Food and snacks
- Technical rock climbing equipment
How fit do I need to be?
In order to participate in this course, you need to have a decent level of fitness and previous climbing experience. You’ll need to be able to take on various multi-pitch routes. Keep in mind that rock climbing is all about using good movement technique rather than muscling up a cliff using brute strength. To ensure you have a fun day, your guide will choose routes that best suit your skill and fitness level.
What if I’ve never climbed before?
To participate in this alpine rock climbing course in Washington, you must have experience sport leading and lead belaying. You should also be able to lead 5.8 sport routes outside. This course is great for those who already have the steep snow and glacier experience and want to expand on the skills needed for climbing peaks that involve rock in the Cascades. Alternatively, if you see yourself sticking to alpine routes that don’t involve steep snow or glaciers, this course is also for you. If you don’t meet these requirements, your guiding service can arrange a sport climbing course for you.
What about required equipment?
When it comes to technical climbing equipment, you’ll need:
- Harness with a belay/rappel device with a “guide mode”, and chalk bag
- Climbing shoes
- Cord — 7 mm, 15 feet
- 4 locking and 4 non-locking carabiners
- Prusik cord
- Sling — 120 cm
- Climbing hardware (quickdraws, assisted braking belay device, alpine draws, trad rack) — recommended, but not required
Here’s a list of the equipment we suggest you bring:
- Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 30-40L bag)
- Climbing pack (20 L or less without a frame for multi-pitch routes)
- Water bottle (at least 2 L)
- Approach shoes or sturdy hiking shoes
- Lunch and food you can eat on-the-go
- Appropriate clothing for weather
- Toiletries (sunscreen, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
- Camera — optional
Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.
Note: If you do not have all of these items, your guiding service can work with you to find the best place to buy or rent it.
Group sizes and age requirements
Group sizes and prices:
- For these private and group adventures, the max. guest-to-guide ratio is 2:1.
- Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.
- It takes a minimum of 2 participants for the group courses to run.
Climbing days in Washington can be arranged for bigger groups. Contact us prior to booking.
Min. age requirements:
- If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
- Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to climb on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.
If your group has climbers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
Deposits and cancellation policy
A 20% deposit is required to reserve a participant’s spot upon booking. Full payment is due 30 days before the trip start date. If the trip is booked less than 30 days before the start date, then full payment is due at the time of booking.Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies:
Cancellation policy for private trips:
- If a participant cancels more than 14 days in advance of the trip, the participant will receive a full refund minus the deposit.
- If a participant cancels less than 14 days in advance of the trip, there will be no refund except for in extenuating circumstances.
Cancellation policy for group trips
- If a participant cancels more than 30 days in advance of the trip, the participant will receive a full refund minus the deposit.
- If a participant cancels less than 30 days in advance of the trip, the participant will NOT receive any refund. If the participant’s spot is filled, then they may be entitled to a refund at the discretion of The Climbing School.
Getting there and meeting location
To get to Index, WA, most people fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport about an hour away by car. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide shop or a predetermined location. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.