|The author traverses the south flank of Mt Arriva on the Logan High Route, June 1996.|
With the highest concentration of glaciers in the lower-48 United States, the Cascade Range offers skiers the opportunity to explore high routes like those of the Alps, but in a wilderness setting. Lacking the network of roads, lifts and huts found in Europe, Northwest mountains demand fitness, self-sufficiency, and good judgment. This article discusses trip planning, spring snow conditions, weather forecasting tips, avalanche hazards, glacier skiing, and travel tactics based on more than 25 years of experience skiing Cascade high routes. In 2007, the author became the first person to ski, in stages, from the summit of Mount Baker to the summit of Mount Rainier, a distance of over 350 miles.
(Originally presented at the Northwest Snow and Avalanche Summit in Seattle on November 8, 2008, and entitled “Safety and Success on Cascade High Routes.”)