This course takes place in the heart of North Cascades National Park, where you will spend four days in 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 in incredible terrain.
It is important to note that due to weather, snow and road access conditions, Pro Guiding Service needs to reserve the right to change course locations. Other locations for this course include the glaciers of Mount Baker or the Snoqualmie Pass area.
This course is aimed at the experienced backcountry skier who is looking to take his or her skills to the high alpine and more complex environment.
Welcome to the heart of North Cascades National Park, one of the best ski mountaineering playgrounds in the lower 48. Despite their modest top elevation, many of the North Cascades' peaks have huge vertical reliefs of over 6000 feet. The setting could not be more spectacular. The Quien Sabe or Inspiration Glaciers are the perfect glaciers for our curriculum. We should be able to deliver the curriculum in several locations, but where we get to travel over the course of the 4 days is completely condition dependent. It is therefore important to note that due to weather, snow and road access conditions, Pro Guiding Service needs to reserve the right to change course locations. Other locations for this course include the glaciers of Mount Baker or the Snoqualmie Pass area. We will do our best to put you into the perfect training ground. Once we have established a base camp on the first day, we will carry light day packs while exploring the terrain. Ski touring, ski mountaineering, glacier skiing, peak bagging, it is all there.
Overall Difficulty Level: Difficult
Skills Required: Advanced skiing ability and prior ski touring experience
Fitness Level: Very strenuous due to ski touring with overnight pack
This four day course has a full curriculum. Every day will include instruction while moving through terrain; therefore a high level of touring experience and good fitness are required. If weather, snow conditions, and group dynamics line up you may have the opportunity to ski from a summit like Sahale Peak, but as always, it is condition dependent.
Pro Guiding Service does its best to provide a practical, movement based, course experience. Below is a sample (best case) scenario that is subject to change based on weather, snow pack, and access conditions.
We will meet at one of the jump off points that provides access to the North Cascades National Park (most likely Marblemount). The final meeting location will be communicated to you via the office and/or the guide in advance.
Curriculum Day 1:
Curriculum Day 2:
Curriculum Day 3:
Curriculum Day 4:
Please note that this is a suggested itinerary and is subject to change based on conditions.
Snow Travel Equipment
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.