Classic Cascade Climbs

Classic Cascade Climbs

Select Routes in Washington State

Jim Nelson, David Whitelaw, Tom Sjolseth


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Classic Cascade Climbs features more than 100 climbing routes across 70-plus peaks--from renowned alpine routes to challenging trad climbs, as well as a handful of sport, ice, and crag options. To determine if it was a “classic” each route was judged on the following criteria: overall quality, popularity, accessibility, style, and historical importance. Climbing beta includes:

  • Peak and prominence elevations and type of rock
  • Grade, approach, route, descent descriptions
  • Detailed photo-based route overlays and topo maps
  • Pitch-by-pitch details, estimated time, recommended equipment
  • Required permits and other special considerations
  • Selected history including first ascents
Authoritative and inspirational, this seminal guide also features stunning mountain photography by famed photographer John Scurlock and others.


Jim Nelson:
Jim Nelson started climbing in the Cascades in 1969 and has climbed throughout the western United States and Canada, while also volunteering with The Mountaineers. He is the owner of Seattle climbing store Pro Mountain Sports.|||DAVID WHITELAW has over thirty years of experience rock climbing and mountaineering all over North America and Europe. During that time he's established well over 150 new routes and authored or co-authored six climbing guidebooks, including Fat City and Urban Ice: A Climber's Guide to the Frozen Waterfalls of Southcentral Alaska. In 1982 he co-authored, with Don Brooks, A Climber's Guide to Washington Rock for The Mountaineers Books.|||In 2010 Tom Sjolseth, along with Daniel Jeffrey, made the first ascent of the highest unclimbed peak in the Cascades, Assassin Spire; he went on to be the first to complete the famed Kloke list of Washington’s ten hardest peaks.