North Cascades Alpine Climbs Washington

Cascades Climbs Frequently Asked Questions

This information should answer many of your initial questions and also guide you through the next stages of preparing for the expedition. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us:

Which mountains are available for IMG's North Cascades Alpine Climbs?

International Mountain Guides is permitted to operate in North Cascades National Park. Many of our Cascades Alpine Climbs are conducted on a custom basis only. Join our expert guide staff for rock climbing, or ascents of Eldorado, East Ridge (beginner to intermediate), Dorado Needle (intermediate), Forbidden Peak, West Ridge (intermediate), Forbidden's North Ridge and East Ridge (advanced), Torment-Forbidden Traverse (advanced), Sharkfin Tower (intermediate), Sahale via the Quien Sabe Glacier (beginner), Triumph (advanced), Mazama rock climbing (all levels), or any of the dozens of other great climbs in North Cascades National Park.

For details on potential destinations and other expedition details:
More info on IMG's North Cascades Alpine Climbs

What skill level is required?

For all climbs we will be carrying a full load of gear in to base camp. All participants must be in very good physical condition. The need to train for this climb cannot be overstressed! For several months prior to the start of the climb, training should include lots of long, slow distance runs over hilly terrain, an hour or more in duration to build a solid cardiovascular base. Add additional weekend outings carrying a heavy pack (35-50 lbs.) up steep hills or stairs. These sessions should gain 2-3,000 feet over 3 or more miles. Occasional workouts at a higher intensity and general strength training are also helpful in building higher levels of fitness.

How many people will be on the climb?

Maximum large group size is 8 climbers and 4 guides (2:1) — these large groups are possible on only a few of the peaks. Most climbs require a 1:1 or 2:1 ratio and smaller groups.

How do I get there?

International Mountain Guides has worked for many years with the staff at CTT Destinations to provide professional travel service for participants in our programs. For help with your plans, we urge you to contact Pirjo at CTT Destinations: 800-909-6647 or

What kind of insurance do I need?

We invest in insurance coverage for commercial liability and medical and disability insurance for our employees while participating on our programs. We cannot insure you for your personal needs, but we do expect you to be as fiscally responsible as we are. We require that you insure yourself against potentially expensive difficulties that may arise. First, Trip Cancellation Insurance may provide financial relief should you be forced to withdraw from the program before it even happens. Next, make sure you have adequate Travel Insurance for coverage should you have a problem during the trip. Medical care and evacuation in remote locations can be expensive. For more information, please see our page on Trip Cancellation and Travel Insurance.

What's included in the trip cost?

Cost Includes:

  • guides
  • group equipment including shared tents, stoves, climbing ropes and hardware
  • permits

Cost Does Not Include:

  • transportation to the trailhead
  • personal clothing and gear
  • lodging the evening prior to the start of the climb and the last night of the trip
  • required* Travel Insurance

* The insurance requirement does not apply to IMG customers on programs within the continental USA, but is strongly encouraged.

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