What do we love more than climbing? Road trips to climbing areas! Here, we've covered more than 40 crags and peaks across the United States, with dozens of routes recommended by locals, kick ass rest day activities, the lowdown on the best grub and pubs, and more!
Climbing North Cascades
The Fifty Classic Climbs of North America started as an idea hatched over a bottle of wine. It was the mid-1970s, and Steve Roper was eating lunch with Allen Steck; the two were reminiscing over epics in Yosemite from the early 1960s. Both were pioneers of the Valley, but each had considerable careers on peaks elsewhere, including Steck’s first ascent of Mt. Logan’s complete Hummingbird Ridge in Alaska and Roper’s first free ascent of the Kor-Ingalls Route in Castle Valley, Utah.
Expanding your repertoire to include snow climbing opens up a tremendous trove of new objectives, including those alluring lines called couloirs that drop like ribbons down mountainsides. While the masses choose the path of the choss field to gain the summit, you’ll ascend couloirs in record time by the addictive rhythm of kicking steps in the snow. It’s truly hypnotic. Best of all? Snow climbing doesn’t necessarily mean winter conditions.
Mt. Stuart is one of the largest exposed chunks of granite in the Lower 48, rising more than 5,000 feet above the surrounding Alpine Lakes Wilderness. The North Ridge, one of the “Fifty Classic Climbs of North America,” is no secret to anyone, and for good reason—it has 15 pitches of often exposed climbing on solid rock along a knife-edge ridge, reaching the highest summit in the Enchantments.
Beginning in northern California with Mt. Shasta and Lassen Peak, and extending north to Mt. Garibaldi in British Columbia, this chain of (mostly) extinct volcanoes makes up some of the most distinctive mountain topography anywhere.
With a crux of well-protected 5.10 moves and a stunning position above the Central Cascades Skykomish Valley, this six-pitch line on Index's Upper Town Wall provides even the weekend warrior with an unforgettable dose of exposure.