Logistics

Meeting Times & Transport

FOR 2020, AS PART OF COVID-19 REGULATIONS: Climbers will need to self drive until further notice. Further information will be sent upon sign up.

Getting to Seattle

If you are flying into Seattle, SeaTac is the closest airport to our office.  You are responsible for transportation between the airport and your hotel.  Our office is 30-50 minutes from the airport (depending on traffic). Most climbers take a Lyft, Uber, or taxi directly from the airport.

Other options are taking Shuttle Express or the Light Rail (public transit) from the airport station to Westlake Station, followed by a Lyft/Uber/taxi the last 1.8 miles to the office. The Light Rail is $3 for this one-way trip.

6:30 a.m. Gear Check and Departure – Day 1 of Climb

Meet at the Alpine Ascents HQ at 6:15 a.m. for a 6:30 a.m. gear check on the day your climb is scheduled to start. Please be on time. This gear check will last about 3 hours. You are required to attend this meeting. Please review the Gear Check information and arrive prepared. Alpine Ascents provides transportation to and from the Boston Basin trailhead.

Lodging in Seattle

FOR 2020: We recommend booking a room for the night before your climb and for the night your climb concludes.  We de-issue rentals on our return to the trailhead on Day 3, so you are free to book lodging wherever you prefer that night.  We strongly advise against flying out until the day after your climb concludes.  Trip schedules will not be adjusted to accommodate return flights booked on the same day your climb concludes.

We recommend booking a room for the night before your climb and for the night your climb concludes. We will return to our office in the late afternoon / early evening on Day 4, and you can return to your hotel. We strongly advise against flying out the day your climb concludes. Trip schedules will not be adjusted to accommodate return flights booked on the same day your climb concludes.

Recommended Hotel

The MarQueen Hotel: One block from our office and often able to offer a discount for our climbers. They are helpful and familiar with our programs. Please book early as Seattle hotels can be fully booked in summer months.

Reserve online: The Marqueen Hotel. Use promotional code “Alpine” to get discount.

We are located in lower Queen Anne, downtown Seattle, and are a short walk or taxi ride away from many other hotels. You may elect to stay in any one of the numerous hotels in the area. You will be responsible for getting to our office for your gear check on the first day of  your climb.

Other Hotels Nearby:

Mediterranean Inn
(206) 428-4700

The Maxwell Hotel
(877) 298-9728

Tipping Guidelines

Guides are permitted to accept and greatly appreciate tips. The amount of tip is at your discretion, but tips for excellent service normally average 10-15% of the cost of the program, or $165-250. Our guides pool tips and share them equally.

Meal Planning

FOR 2020, AS PART OF COVID-19 REGULATIONS PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING CHANGE:  We will provide hot water ready breakfast and dinner  in lieu of our traditional menu. 

Alpine Ascents provides breakfasts, dinners, soups, and hot drinks for summit climbs. You will be responsible for providing your own lunches for 4 days.  If you have any food allergies or requirements, please notify us in advance. Your climber application features a place to input this information, or we are always happy to speak with you directly.

At your gear check we will check and organize personal/group gear, including food. It is advisable to purchase your lunch foods before we meet. For fresh food, there are several large supermarkets in the area.

Overview

Food is one of the basic pleasures of wilderness travel. There are countless options for putting together healthy and delicious meals for your trip. For most climbs in the alpine environment, we eat approximately every hour during brief rest breaks. This constant intake is the most efficient way to fuel our bodies and meter our energy output as we climb. We do not stop for long “lunch breaks.” Your lunches should not require the use of a stove while on the mountain.

Basic Principles

A climbing or backpacking outing in the wilderness requires higher energy expenditure on a daily basis than what you may be used to. Eating well and frequently not only sustains energy levels but also boosts morale and attitude. In addition, mountains often challenge climbers with inclement weather. It is important that caloric intake be high and regular to help avoid hypothermia and other cold weather or altitude-related problems.

  • Your food should consist of a well-balanced selection of food groups. It is best to plan most meals with high levels of complex carbohydrates to provide the most efficient long-term energy production.
  • Refined sugars and simple carbohydrates, found in candy and other items, provide quick, short-term energy.
  • Proteins are necessary for good health, but not in the quantities that most eat. On a short trip (3–4 days) lower protein intake levels do not cause problems.
  • Fats require much more oxygen and time to metabolize (especially at high altitudes) which can be an important consideration.

Consider foods which are light and compact. Balance this consideration with nutritional needs and packing foods which taste good to you. Packaging should be minimal, but without sacrificing good organization and weather-protection.

Alpine Ascents provides breakfasts, dinners, soups, and hot drinks for summit climbs. You will be responsible for providing your own lunches for 4 days. Listed below are sample lunch menus and a packing list for your climb. It is extremely important to bring the listed calorie amounts, though the exact items you bring may vary according to your preferences.

4 Day Climb Daily Menu Sample

Here is a sample of the types of things people bring with them for their daily lunches.

Day 1: We will review rock climbing basics at Mount Erie.  There will be minimal hiking, so feel free to bring a heavy lunch.
Plan to bring approximately 1000 calories of lunch food for this day.
• Cold pizza, fresh sandwich, or burrito
• Trail mix
• A small bag of chips / salty snacks
• Piece of fresh fruit
• A bakery cookie
• Coconut water

Day 2:  Hike from Cascade Pass to Boston Basin – 3,300′ of gain, ~ 4-5 hours
Plan to bring 1000 calories of lunch food for this day.
• Bagel with meat & cheese
• Your favorite candy bar
• Some hard candies or chocolates

Day 3: Summit day – 2,300′ of gain, ~ 6-9 hours round-trip
Plan to bring approximately 1200 calories of lunch food for this day.
• 4 energy bars
• 2 energy gels
• Your favorite candy bar
• Canister of Pringles

Day 4: Descend from Boston Basin Camp to trailhead
Plan to bring 600-800 calories of lunch food for this day.
• Bagel with meat & cheese
• Your favorite candy bar
• Some hard candies or chocolates

Sample Lunch Packing List

This list is intended as a sample packing/shopping list to create a complete “lunch bag” suitable for a 4-day climb.

Jerky (Beef, Turkey, or Soy) 8–10 oz Bag
Trail Mix 2 cup
Salty Snack Mix 3/4 qt
Energy Bars 2 Bars
Corn Nuts 1 Packet
Large Cookies 2 Packs
Candy Bars 2 Bars
Granola Bars 2 Bars
Crackers (Peanut butter or Cheese 2 Packages
Bagels (1 per day) 3 Bagels
String Cheese 2 sticks
Cheddar Cheese Squares 2 Squares
Mini Cheese Rounds 2 Rounds
Mixed Dried Fruit 1/4 qt Bag
Hard Candy 1/4 qt Bag
Cold Drink Mix (w/ electrolytes) 3 Packets
Energy Gel 1 Packet
Gallon Zip-lock Bag 2 Bags

Caloric info: www.whatscookingamerica.net/NutritionalChart.htm

Gear Overview

The weather in the Washington Cascades are subject to highly variable weather conditions. With this in mind, we developed our gear list for the safety and comfort of our climbers. There may be occasions when required items are not used because of current weather conditions. You are welcome to call the office before your trip to check on conditions, but please note the gear list prepares you for poor weather conditions. Please read your annotated equipment list very carefully.

Review your Gear List
Follow this link for the required gear list and rental form:

https://www.alpineascents.com/climbs/forbidden-peak/gear-list/

You are required to bring every item on this list as described so be as precise as possible when packing. Alpine Ascents rents quality equipment at reasonable rates. In addition, gear is now available for purchase at the Alpine Ascents Equipment Store where climbers on an Alpine Ascents expedition will receive a discount. Please call or email Alpine Ascents with any gear questions. We have storage for gear and street clothes while you are on your climb. Please bring a duffle bag/suitcase to store gear.

Packing Suggestions

  • Pack everything in two layers of sturdy plastic. (Trash compactor bags work best and are equivalent to two layers of plastic)
  • Bring one large trash bag to completely and easily cover the inside of your pack.
  • It is likely that you will be asked to help carry some of the group equipment, so make sure there is some additional room in and on your backpack.

Training Regimen

In the best interest of personal safety, success and team compatibility, adequate training and excellent physical condition are required. Prior experience with backpacking and camping is required. An approximately 40 pound pack weight is the ideal we are striving towards; be prepared to carry a 40-55 pound pack. Climbers need to be in excellent physical condition for both personal enjoyment and to be an integral team member. We encourage you to contact us so that we may assist you in developing a training program that meets your particular needs.

Alpine Ascents has developed a comprehensive training program in conjunction with Body Results:

Forbidden Peak Training Program

Physiology of Mountaineering

Please read our primer on the basics of altitude physiology and awareness of the dangers posed by travel in the mountains.

Physiology of Mountaineering

LNT

Alpine Ascents International practices Leave No Trace principles on all expeditions. We believe that given the proper information most people will do all they can to help protect and maintain the environment. Please Visit:

www.lnt.org/learn/7-principles

As guides, we spend time teaching the environmentally appropriate Leave No Trace principals and practices. There is nothing more beautiful than working hard to get high into the mountains, come upon a pristine campsite, witness incredible views and have the feeling that no one has been there before.

Conversely, there is nothing more disheartening than working hard to climb a mountain, reaching a site and encountering trash, food waste and toilet paper. Please read the seven LNT principles, and call the office if you have any questions about what you can do to plan ahead.

The course was very fun. Each lesson we learned allowed time for repetition and practice. I feel confident I can use all these skills in the future.

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Partners & Accreditations

Alpine Ascents International is an authorized mountain guide service of Denali National Park and Preserve and Mount Rainier National Park.
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