Pro Guiding Service
Domestic & International Trips & Courses with Professionally Trained Mountain Guides

4-Day Ski Mountaineering Course - North Cascades


In this course you will ski into the heart of the North Cascades National Park and spend 4 days in the Boston Basin area, one of the best settings for a ski mountaineering course in the lower 48 states. You will learn techniques for glacier travel, crevasse rescue, route finding, tour planning, and steep skinning and skiing, all while camping and skiing big lines in incredible terrain.

$1,200 Per Person
4 Days
3:1, 6:2

Trip Information

Price based on 3 skiers per guide. Please contact us directly for private trips. 425-888-6397 x2 |

Welcome to the heart of North Cascades National Park. The Boston Basin area offers one of the best ski mountaineering playgrounds in the lower 48. With a vertical rise of over 6000 feet from the valley floor to the summits, the setting could not be more spectacular. The Quien Sabe Glacier is the perfect glacier for our curriculum; we can climb over Sharkfin Col and visit the impressive Boston Glacier, summit Sahale Peak, and camp in amazing scenery. All in all, Forbidden Peak provides a perfect training ground to introduce you to the elements of ski mountaineering. We establish a base camp below the Quien Sabe Glacier on the first day. The rest of the time we will carry light day packs while exploring the terrain in the Boston Basin. Ski touring, ski mountaineering, glacier skiing, peak bagging, it is all there. This course is aimed at the back-country skier who is looking to take his or her skills to the high alpine environment. This course is also offered on Mount Baker, as a Splitboard Only course, and as an All-Women's Course on Baker.

Duration: 4
Ratio: 3:1, 6:2
Difficulty Level:
Click here to learn more about difficulty ratings.

Overall Difficulty Level: Difficult

Skills Required: Advanced skiing ability and prior ski touring experience

Fitness Level: Strenuous due to ski touring with overnight pack

Private Trips Available

Pro Guiding Service proudly offers the most diverse ski touring and ski mountaineering programs of any guiding service in the Northwest.
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Day 1: Ski approach to camp in Boston Basin
• Review of the basics of a ski touring course
• The difference between ski touring and ski mountaineering explained
• Equipment specific to ski mountaineering
• Map work and time calculations reviewed
• The basic function of a glacier explained

Day 2: Boston Basin and Boston Glacier. We will go on a good sized ski tour on these two glaciers in order to explain the principals of glaciated ski touring.
• Crevasse formation and crevasse fall prevention
• Glacier travel on skis
• Roped travel on skis uphill and down hill
• Snow anchors in a ski mountaineering setting
• Crevasse rescue for ski mountaineering
• Self rescue for ski mountaineering

Day 3: Quien Sabe Glacier and Sahale Peak. We will climb the actual summit if conditions allow.
• Rappelling while side slipping on skis
• Basic snow climbing
• White out navigation in crevassed terrain
• The principles of short roping
• Elaborate rescue sled
• Improvised rescue sled

Day 4: Davenport Glacier. A wrap up of the course with a companion rescue upgrade before we head out.
• Beacon search reviewed
• Multiple beacon search
• Avalanche safety and incident prevention reviewed
• Emergency bivouac construction

Please note that this itinerary is subject to change based on conditions.

Private Trips

Pro Guiding Service proudly offers the most diverse ski touring and ski mountaineering programs of any guiding service in the Northwest. Smaller, more intimate custom itineraries or instructional tours are available for any of our destinations. Tell us what you want to do, and we can create a customized plan for you.
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per person
Price based on 3 skiers per guide. Please contact us directly for private trips. 425-888-6397 x2 |
View Dates & Availability
Payment Policy
If booking a domestic trip that is over 30 days away or an international trip that is over 60 days away, you can book your trip by paying a 20% deposit.  View Full Policy
Cancellation Policy
If you cancel for any reason 30 or more days before domestic trips or 60 or more days before international and Alaska trips, we will refund everything you have paid minus half of your deposit. No refunds will be provided if you cancel your trip for ANY REASON (this includes but is not limited to illness including CoVid-19, injury, or work-related issues) within 30 days of the start of domestic trips or 60 days of international and Alaska based trips.  View Full Policy

Equipment List

Base Layer
  • 1 Bottom - midweight or lightweight
  • 1 or 2 Tops - midweight or lightweight
  • Ski Socks - 2 pair
Mid Layer
  • Windshirt or light Soft Shell jacket
  • Fleece or similar warm layer
  •  Soft-shell pants
  • Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Jacket
  • Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Pants
  • Warm Hat - should cover your ears
  • Sun Hat - baseball cap or visor
  • Lightweight Gloves
  • Ski Gloves/Mittens
  • Down or Synthetic Puffy-type Jacket
Personal Gear
  • Internal Frame Pack - 50 Liter/3100 minimum
    • Everything must fit inside except ice axe, crampons and helmet.
    • If approach shoes are worn, ski boots may be on outside of pack as well
  • Sleeping Bag - down or synthetic, 15-20º F or warmer
  • Compression Sack - for sleeping bag
  • Sleeping Pad - closed cell foam or self inflating (or both)
  • Headlamp - lightweight LED recommended
  • 2 Water Bottles - liter bottles, wide mouth recommended
  • Bowl and Cup - bowl is optional if eating from freeze-dried meal bags
  • Spoon, Fork, or Spork
  • Small Knife
  • Sunglasses - adequate for snow travel
  • Goggles
  • Sunscreen - SPF 25+, waterproof
  • Lip Balm - SPF 15+
  • Lighter
  • Personal Toiletries - keep it simple: toothbrush, tiny toothpaste, hand sanitizer
  • Small Personal First Aid Kit - just the basics: blister care, ibuprofin, prescription meds, etc.; your guides will have a substantial group first aid kit
  • Toilet Paper (blue bags provided by PGS)
Technical Gear

Snow Travel Equipment

  • Skis - Alpine Touring or Telemark skis,  or Splitboard
  • Ski Boots - Alpine Touring or Telemark boots (no downhill boots), or Snowboard Boots
  • Poles - Telescopic poles work well, but not required, with snow baskets
  • Climbing Skins
  • Ski or Splitboard Crampons - REQUIRED! - Ensure that they are compatible with your bindings
  • Ski Brakes or leashes

Safety Gear

  • Avalanche Transceiver - single frequency,  457 kHz only
  • Shovel - compact, lightweight, metal blade preferred
  • Probe - dedicated probe only, ski poles do not suffice

Technical Gear

  • Ice Axe - lightweight, 45-70cm is fine
  • Boot Crampons – Ensure they fit your boots
  • Anti-ball plates for crampons
  • Climbing Harness - lightweight, (no padding; ex: Petzl Altitude, Black Diamond Couloir)
  • Crevasse Rescue Kit:
    4 Locking Carabiners - at least 1 large HMS style and 1 regular locker
    4 Non-locking Carabiners - any style, we recommend wire gates
    1 Single Length Dyneema/Dynex Runner/Sling (60cm/24in diameter loop)
    1 Double Length Dyneema/Dynex Runner/Sling (120cm/48in diameter loop)
    1 Cordelette - 6 mm cord, 6 meter length
    1 Cordelette - 6 mm cord, 3 meter length
    1-2 Prussik Loops - 3-4 feet of 6mm cordelette tied in loop with double fisherman's knot and/or a SterlingHollowblock
    1-2 ice screws - 13-17 cm long
Optional Items
  • Camera - we’d like some shots for the PGS website!
  • Ear Plugs - essential for sound sleep
  • Camp Booties
  • Thermos - vacuum type
  • Electrolytes - tablets/powder/gel/blocks
  • Note Pad and Pencil - Rite-in-the-Rain brand waterproof notebooks work well
  • Compass - adjustable declination a must
  • Altimeter watch
  • Map Case - large Ziploc bag works well
  • Maps - contact guiding office for appropriate quadrangles
  • Collapsible Water Canteen - good for storing snowmelt at camp
  • Liner socks - if blister-prone
  • Warm Socks - to sleep in
  • Approach shoes--lightweight running shoes work well
  • Foot Powder
  • Neck gaiter - for protecting your face from sun, wind, cold
  • Helmet - climbing or lightweight uninsulated ski helmet (recommended)
  • Post-course care kit (to leave in car): cotton T-shirt, flip flops, favorite treats
Equipment Sales & Rental

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Should I tip my guide?

Although tipping is not a requirement, it is considered standard practice in the guiding industry and is appreciated by our guides. We generally recommend roughly 10%-15% of your course or trip cost or a flat amount that you are comfortable with.

Why Book With Us? 

Certified Professional Guides & All Access
All of our guides have the highest quality training and certification in the industry, and you can be sure that we have the permits, licenses and insurance in every location we operate.
Safe, Well-Planned Tour Design
Every tour has a carefully thought-out guide-to-customer ratio. You always get a safe, high-quality trip or learning environment with us.
Pioneers In The Industry
You will travel and learn from experts. We've pioneered several alpine climbing routes, ski descents, and traverses and we've written books on skills and routes in the industry. 
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