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Alpine climbing in Boston Basin in the North Cascades National Park: Mount Buckner, 3 days

alpine-climbing-boston-basin

Join Matt, an AMGA-certified ski mountaineering guide, for this incredible alpine climbing and mountaineering experience on the slopes of Mount Buckner. Climb through the gorgeous Boston Basin, enjoying phenomenal scenery and excellent climbing conditions en route to the summit.

Private and Group

Cascade Range

3 Days

Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep

Fit

Intermediate


Highlights

  • Enjoy the stunning scenery of Mount Buckner.
  • Take advantage of some the enjoyable alpine climbing conditions.
  • Get great views of the rest of North Cascades National Park.

Description

Rising to 9,080 feet in elevation, in the heart of Washignton’s Cascade Range, Mount Buckner has a prominent presence on the ridge line above the glaciated Boston Basin.

The 3-day climb to its summit is the perfect challenge for every intermediate-level mountaineer! Boasting incredible alpine ice climbing conditions, this peak has the stuff every Cascadian seeks out: an invigorating approach, remote location, high-quality climbing and incredible alpine scenery.

Starting from Seattle, we will meet at a predetermined location and drive up to the Boston Basin trailhead. From here, we make a 2,500-foot ascent up through some very steep terrain until we reach Boston Basin at 5,700 feet.

After a brief rest, we will begin climbing up to either the Boston-Sahale Col or high on the Quien Sabe Glacier below Sharkfin Col. At either of these spots, we will make our camp.

The next morning is summit day. After getting an alpine start and depending on the route, we will either climb and rappel onto the Boston Glacier, or do some mixed snow and ice climbing before traversing down onto the glacier.

From the Boston Glacier, we will make a 1,300-foot ascent up a 40 to 50 degree gradient, through snow and ice. We will mainly travel by belay, making the climbing quite quick and giving you the chance to enjoy the pristine alpine surroundings.

From the summit, we will enjoy  incredible views of Forbidden, Eldorado and  Logan, Park Creek Pass, and the peaks of the Ptarmigan Traverse. After enjoying some time here, we will head down to stay at the high camp.

The following day, we will pack up and hike back out to the trailhead.

So what are you waiting for? Book now for this incredible 3-day alpine climbing and mountaineering experience up Mount Buckner in North Cascades National Park!

If you like the look of this trip then I think you may also enjoy my 3-day mountaineering trip to the top of nearby Forbidden Peak!

Price includes

- Guiding fee

- Breakfast

- Lunch

- Dinner

- Rope

- Harness

- Belay and rappel devices

- Quickdraws

- Camping equipment tents

- Camping equipment cooking utensils


Details

Meeting point

Seattle, Washignton

Equipment you will need to bring

Helmet

Ice axe

Pulley

Backpack

Crampons

Sunglasses

Watter bottle


About the guide

I am the founder of BC Adventure Guides, a certified Ski-Mountaineering Guide with the American Mountain Guides Association and a certified Avalanche Instructor with the American Avalanche Association dedicated to perfecting my craft. I began skiing as disco was dying at New York’s Hunter Mountain, ’The Snow Making Capital of the World’ and a summer ski trip to Mt Hood inspired me years later to move from New York City to Washington State for college and he never looked back.

I let my curiosity for steep, wild snow combine with my passion for travel, and big mountains into guiding, leading trips to Antarctica, Europe, Asia, North & South America.

In an effort to help preserve wild places, I completed my MBA in sustainable business from BGI and started my own company, Back Country Adventure Guides. I now share my passion for snow with my daughter between completing my ‘honey do list’ and enjoying the greatest touring on Earth at Snoqualmie Pass.

Languages

French | English

Residence

Seattle, WA, USA


What people are saying about Matt Schonwald

Chris Bailey

2.00

March, 2022

Since Explore-Share has asked three times, here goes. We had a quite mixed experience with Matt and BCA at Rogers Pass this early March. The day 1 avalanche search and rescue instruction was thorough and one of the best I have taken. The guiding showed the benefit of having local knowledge. These guides did not have it. They were working in significant part from the Rogers Pass guidebook, which provides quite vague and brief descriptions of potential routes. After seeing the strengths and weaknesses of the team on day 1, on day 2 the guides nevertheless took us uphill in a nasty skintrack steeply up through tight trees for 500+ meters and lasting 4+ hours due to the terrain and group speed. Despite lack of local knowledge, understanding the map and in the first 5 minutes it was clear that this would be an epic and excessively difficult climb for the group. They continued up. Then, from an ~8:30 start, by 1:20 there had only been one food/water break taken / called or suggested. While our 2nd group was awaiting the first group to move forward, when I suggested we were overdue to take in some fuel, guide Matt said, “no please wait, we will break out of the trees soon.” (This proved to be >20 minutes away) after I stated the obvious need and that our group were going to take a break, we had taken a quick bite and re-caught the group in front of us, as I’d predicted. Inadequate group energy management by this guide. I saw no or nearly no skin track corners improvement by the guides, including many challenging ones that the guides blew though. Improving them evidently is standard by BC (British Columbia in this case) guides from my 11 previous ski touring days in the area. Nearly zero efforts to improve corners were observed in this case, despite the day 2 quite rugged skintrack steeply up in tight trees and several beginner kick turning skier or soft-booted splitboarders struggling with the line. (Including sliding backwards / downhill from one switchback to the next) Good instruction by the guides on how to make kick turns, but many of the turns were objectively much more challenging than they needed to be given no improvement made. At least one team member was so (unnecessarily had we had better route selection) gripped and depleted from the climb up that he skied well below his ability on the down. Our group had good trips on the 3rd and 4th day with 2nd guide Sam, who picked appropriate routes for the group and was responsive to requests to further shape the route to the abilities of the group. He found us good snow amid mixed conditions and on appropriate terrain. Safety and terrain stuff, no concerns. Food, dinners and breakfasts (2 each) provided at the hut, included a dinner that was far too skinny and which was nowhere near enough. Chicken quantity instruction was “one spoon (table spoon) per person.” The first dinner was borderline too little as well. Quality was otherwise good. I initiated the trip; and approved a second group to join us; then when we showed up, there was a third group of 4 there in the hut, which we hadn’t heard about until that day. Matt never mentioned any adjustment to the hut fee we had paid and on which this group was coasting or possibly paid him. I write based on some experience. I have had several dozen days in the backcountry with guides (and dozens more in New England and other terrain for which they were not needed), across touring weeks in from huts to snow cave living, to heli-served; to heli and cat skiing across multiple countries and so have many guides and days of experience from which to compare. This was the first really uneven or bad experience. No question, bottom of the list of 7 ski touring guides I have skied with.


 

 

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