6-Day Cascades Itinerary
All six days are spent on the mountain.
These courses take place on Mt. Baker, Mt. Daniel, Eldorado Peak, Sahale Peak and throughout the Cascades. We utilize a variety of locations to distribute land use and provide pristine, less populated environs for our training. It also enables us to take advantage of the best possible mountain conditions for each course.
Day 1: 6:30am orientation. We meet, check equipment and drive to the trail head. Begin hiking in the forest and ascend to the tree line (3-4hrs). After setting camp, we practice knot tying, rope handling, prussiking and other related subjects.
Day 2: Snow school. Students learn the fundamentals of moving safely/efficiently on snow slopes of all degrees. Instruction includes: balance and rest techniques, proper use of the ice axe, self-belay, self-arrest, snow climbing in roped teams, anchor placements and technical rope climbing techniques for ascending steep snow slopes. Evening discussions focus on route finding and glacier travel.
Day 3: Glacier travel and crevasse rescue. You learn proper climbing techniques for safe glacier travel including: rope techniques for teams of 3-4 persons, route finding through crevassed areas and finally crevasse rescue. Considerable time is spent on crevasse rescue as it is an essential skill for safe travel on glaciers. Everyone has the opportunity to rescue an individual from a crevasse. Instruction includes prussiking, pulley systems and placing rescue anchors on snow and ice. When we return to camp, we discuss navigation and other mountaineering topics.
Day 4: Advanced crampon techniques. We begin by developing proper techniques using crampons on low angle ice, move onto steeper and more challenging terrain. Emphasis is placed on proper technique and efficiency as these are essential on longer alpine routes.
Day 5: High camp. We pack our summit gear and establish high camp. Time permitting, we do a high glacier tour around spectacular ice towers and crevasses. In the early evening, we prepare for our summit attempt and enjoy the incredible views our high camp provides.
Day 6: Summit day. This is a long and demanding day on moderate terrain where you will have a chance to apply all of the skills learned during the course. With clear weather, we should be rewarded with a spectacular view from the summit. Upon descent we break camp and return to the trailhead.