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Pro Guiding Service
Domestic & International Trips & Courses with Certified Mountain Guides
Trip

Forbidden Ski Traverse

Overview

Martin Volken pioneered this multi-day ski tour in 1999 and we still love guiding it. The combination of the high alpine atmosphere, the great skiing and mountain wilderness make this trip a must for every serious backcountry skier. The region hosts every element that is needed to show what advanced ski touring in the Cascades is all about.

$990 Per Person
4 Days
Difficulty
Ratio:
2:1

Trip Information

$990
Price based on 3 skiers per guide. Please contact us directly for private trips. 425-888-6397 x2 | info@proguiding.com
Martin Volken pioneered this multi day ski tour in 1999 and we still love guiding it.
Check out this article from the Seattle Times: Forbidden Foray  
We also offer this trip as a 3-day Forbidden Ski Traverse Express
Pro Guiding Service has guided this by now classic traverse in several different variations. The combination of the high alpine atmosphere, the great skiing and mountain wilderness make this trip a must for every serious backcountry skier. The region hosts every element that is needed to show what advanced ski touring in the Cascades is all about. Spectacular scenery, big glaciers, demanding skiing, big vertical drops and gains, winter camping, difficult navigating in sometimes questionable weather and a touch of mixed mountaineering. This trip will prove that the North Cascades are a ski mountaineering destination hard to match in the lower 48 states.
 
 
 
Duration: 4
Ratio: 2:1
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: Very strenuous due to ski touring with a big 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.
Learn MoreView Dates & Availability

Itinerary

Day one: We will meet at the Ranger Station in Marblemount, conduct a gear check, and commute to our road head. This should get us touring by mid morning. We will then reach the Quien Sabe Glacier via Cascade Pass or the Diamond Mine Road. We will establish our first camp near Sharkfin Col between 6500 and 7000 feet.
Day two: We will traverse the infamous Sharkfin Col first thing in the morning and then ski the Boston Glacier under Forbidden Peak. From here we cross over to the Forbidden Glacier. The 3400 foot ski descent to Moraine Lake will bring us to our second camp. This is quite possibly one of the coolest descents to one of the most scenic camps in the National Park.
Day three: An early morning start will get us across and above Moraine Lake and onto the Inspiration Glacier. We will camp at Klawatti Col.  Depending on conditions and mood of the group, we might have enough time to ski over to Austera peak.
Day four: We will break camp early and start moving towards El Dorado peak. Ski summits don't get much better than this. From here we traverse the El Dorado Plateau to its southeastern edge and ski down the Roush Creek drainage to 3800 feet. From here we have to descend steep forest on a climbers trail to the Cascade River Road. There should certainly be enough time for a few well deserved beers in Marblemount. Please prepare well. This tour is strenuous and not over until you are at the car!

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.
View Private Trips

Pricing

$990
per person
Price based on 3 skiers per guide. Please contact us directly for private trips. 425-888-6397 x2 | info@proguiding.com
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

Clothing
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
Outerwear
  • 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 cu.in. minimum
    • Everything must fit inside except ice axe, crampons, helmet, and pad
    • 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 (or Splitboard)
  • Ski Boots - Alpine Touring or Telemark - 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
  • 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: Black Diamond Alpine Bod)
  • Glacier Travel Kit:
    • 2 Locking Carabiners - at least 1 large HMS style and 1 regular locker
    • 2 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 Prussik Loop - 3-4 feet of 6mm cordelette tied in loop with double fisherman's knot and/or a Sterling Hollowblock
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

Gearing Up Adventurers Since 1999 

Be prepared for every adventure by visiting our sister business—Pro Ski and Mountain Service. Order online or visit us in store in North Bend, Washington. Check out our discounts on rentals and purchases when you book a trip or course with us.
10% Off purchases and 20% Off rentals for Pro Guiding Service guests
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FAQs

Do I need prior ski mountaineering experience?

If you have prior ski touring experience, are a good skier, and are fit, it should not be a problem.

Is the skiing difficult?

The skiing is not difficult per say, but you will be skiing with an overnight pack in a big variety of snow conditions. Solid skiing ability will make it much more enjoyable. We do not recommend this being your first ski outing with a big pack unless you are an expert level skier.

How will be get water?

We will have access to water on the second night; the other nights we will have to melt snow for our water.

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 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. 
Read Our story
Resources

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