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Traversing across the Carbon Glacier

Washington's Most Epic Ski Traverses

11 multi-day ski tours which will take you to the most famous summits in the Pacific Northwest!

Ski Touring Moderate, Difficult, Severe

Traversing across the Carbon Glacier
Traversing across the Carbon Glacier Photo: Ben Starkey


Multi-day ski traverses are amongst the most challenging mountain activities because they demand so much of you - fitness, skiing skills, avalanche and terrain analysis, winter camping know-how, and a big chunk of determination. It also helps if you have a slice of luck because even the best-prepared ski mountaineers can have their plans scuppered by the weather, and nowhere is this more true than in the Pacific Northwest. Getting the tours listed here done requires all of the assets listed above, as well as the good fortune of getting some un-typical Cascades weather! Pulling off any of these trips is a significant achievement, made all the sweeter by having to get your timing perfect.

In this guidebook, you'll find eleven multi-day trips, all in the high and wild Washington mountains, from Rainier to Baker. Some of the tours in here may be familiar to you, but unless you are a true Cascades connoisseur, you almost certainly won't have heard of all of them. We've got the classic tours such as the Isolation and Watson Traverses, but there are also some more obscure trips in here like the Pickets Traverse - a route which won't even get done in some years, such is its complexity. You won't be able to tick all of these routes off in one season, but with patience and determination, you could get them all done eventually.

One person who did just that is Kyle Miller, who wrote these routes having done them all. Most people would be happy to get a handful of these routes, or even just one of them, done, so for Kyle to have ticked all eleven is remarkable. His expertise in all things Cascades is impressive and these route descriptions are testament to that.

The remoteness, challenging access and "changeable" - to put it diplomatically - weather mean that ski touring in the Cascades can be maddening. Still, when the stars align, there is no finer ski mountaineering destination on the planet. And if you want the full Cascades skiing experience, look no further than these bucket-list tours.

Routes included

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