The Snoqualmie Haute Route was pioneered by Martin Volken in 2000. It is a multi-day alpine traverse through the big mountain terrain from Alpental to Mount Hinman and beyond. This committing, rugged, and absolutely incredible traverse has brought new meaning to Snoqualmie Pass ski touring.
Back in 2000 we pioneered this committing, long, alpine multi-day traverse that will bring new meaning to Snoqualmie Pass ski touring. We will take five full days and four nights to complete this 40-mile tour that has approximately 20,000 feet of elevation gain. The tour starts from the end of the Middle Fork road or Snoqualmie Pass, weaves up to the north of the pass through the Chimney Rock and Lemah areas, and ends in the Commonwealth Basin at Snoqualmie Pass. We will have the option to summit Big Snow Mountain, Mount Hinman, Chikamin Peak and Alaska Mountain.
Overall Difficulty Level: Very difficult
Skills Required: Advanced skiing ability and prior ski touring experience
Fitness Level: Very strenuous due to ski touring with big overnight packs
Day 1: We will meet in front of the guiding office in North Bend at 6am, conduct a gear check and then drive up the Middle Fork Road. We should be able to drive to at least near the road head at about 3000 feet. From there we will hike and then ski up the Hardscrabble drainage and the summit of Big Snow Mountain (6680feet). We will camp at the saddle north of Big Snow Mountain.
Day 2: Essentially we will follow the crest north of the Middle Fork Valley to the Chain Lakes area, drop some gear, and summit Mount Hinman at over 7000 feet and then ski back to our camp near Williams Lake; Another big day.
Day 3: Our third day will send us up the hidden Summit Chief Valley, over the Summit Chief Col at 6140 feet. Then we ski all the way down to the head of the Lemah drainage at around 4600 feet and back up underneath the massive East Face of Chimney Rock to the Overcoat Col at 6800 feet.
Day 4: The descent into the Burnt Boot drainage first thing in the morning will wake anybody up. It is wild and very scenic. From Iceberg Lake at around 4800 feet we will tour up underneath the West Walls of the Lemahs all the way up to Chikamin Ridge at nearly 7000 feet. A short scramble should bring us to the summit of Chikamin Peak. We have to make it there on time, so that we can ski the following descent down the South Face of Chikamin Peak in good conditions. A short traverse around Huckleberry Mountain will get us to our last camp at Joe Lake (4624 feet).
Day 5: From camp we will tour south along the PCT past the Kendall Catwalk into the Commonwealth drainage and out to Alpental. We will get picked up there, go to North Bend and party.
Snow Travel Equipment
Well, yes it is. You should definitely be in excellent physical condition if you want to enjoy yourself.
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.