The North Cascades are the most rugged and wild mountains in the contiguous United States. They are heavily glaciated and often difficult to access. I have been climbing in the North Cascades for many years and the breathtaking scenery never gets old. Here are some adventure run ideas I have for the Cascades this summer:
- Northern Pickets Traverse: From Hannegan Pass to Ross Lake, this traverse travels through the most rugged and remote terrain in the lower 48. Intense summit names like Challenger, Fury, Crooked Thumb, and Phantom manifest the difficulty of reaching this fabled region. There are no trails in the Northern Pickets and virtually no evidence of human impact.
- Redoubt and Spickard: I visited this spectacular area near the Canadian border way back in 2004 in a climb of Mount Redoubt via Depot Creek. It’s time to return and climb Mount Spickard, which has one of the best views in the entire North Cascades.
- Isolation Traverse: A high traverse through the seldom visited region between Snowfield Peak and Eldorado Peak with views of the rugged McAllister Glacier cirque.
- Wonderland Trail: This amazing 94 mile loop around Mount Rainier has been on my radar for a few years and while I may not get around to it this summer, it is definitely something I hope to do someday.
- Mount Shasta: Towering above its surroundings at over 14,000 feet, Mount Shasta looks impressive from miles around. This mountain is a good climb in late spring when the weather is more cooperative but snow coverage remains good.
- Sahale Peak: This is too short for an adventure run – it takes longer to drive to the trailhead then climb the mountain! What Sahale Peak does offer, however, is one of the best locations to watch sunrise and sunset in the North Cascades. The ideal for me would be to photograph the evening and morning light from atop the small summit, as I did many years ago with my father.