Itinerary

Introduction to Alpine Rock Climbing / Matterhorn Prep Itinerary

I thought the course was fantastic. Our guides were very informative and fun to be around, they tailored the course well as a Matterhorn prep, and showed us some classic lines up some famous mountains in the pass.

Day 1

We’ll meet at 8:00am at the Mazama Store, where we’ll have a gear check and trip orientation. After gear check, we’ll drive a short distance to a local crag to learn the basics of rock climbing in a spectacular setting. Students will learn and review skills on belaying, rappelling, lowering, footwork, rope/knots, and movement techniques. Plan to spend that day working on technical skills that will help translate to efficient climbing over the following days. In the evening we will car camp near Mazama at a local campground. Please note that there are very limited gear shops in Mazama, so it is imperative you arrive prepared with all your gear outlined on the equipment list on Day 1.

Day 2

The plan is to climb the South Arête of South Early Winter Spire.  This is a full day of climbing at Washington Pass on an excellent route that ascends to the summit of one tallest spires in the area.  The technical cruxes on this route are short allowing climbers to focus on applying the technical skills learned on the previous day.  On the summit, climbers are rewarded with panoramic views of nearly all of the North Cascades from the northerly Mount Baker all the way to Glacier Peak to the south. The summit also offers a rare glimpse of the elusive Northeast Face of Mount Goode.  This is typically an 8-9 hour day round trip from the parking lot.

Day 3

The focus of this day will be to move efficiently on 4th class and low fifth class terrain.  The guide(s) will select a longer objective that matches the needs and interests of the group.  Expect a big day with stellar climbing in an uncompromising position in the mountains.  Cutthroat Peak or Spontaneity Arête are the two most probable options for this day.  Climbers can expect a full 10-12 hours of hiking and climbing.

Day 4

Liberty Bell is one of the most iconic mountains in the Pacific Northwest and the Beckey Route its most classic way to the summit.   This route has 4-5 pitches of technical climbing up to 5.6, which leads to a short bit of moderate terrain just below the top.  Climbing Liberty Bell is a great way to finish the program and usually requires 8 hours round-trip from the car. Depending on the goals of the group, Kangaroo Temple (5.6), Blue’s Buttress (5.6) on Poster Peak, or Prime Rib (5.9) on the Goat Wall in Mazama are also options for this final day.

I LOVED the course and will carry the experience I had with me the rest of my life. The quality of the instruction, the location, the routes selected by the guides, the campsite, etc were all beyond any reasonable expectations I had going into the trip. I absolutely feel ready to use the skills I […]

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