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North Cascades 

Join us on a trip to the North Cascade Mountains—one of the most spectacular and awe-inspiring alpine destinations in North America. Jagged peaks, cascading waterfalls, wild and remote glaciers—these are a few of the spectacular landscapes that comprise this amazing alpine wilderness.  With over 300 glaciers in an area of 684,000 acres, the North Cascades is the premier destination for alpine mountaineering in North America.  It is an ideal place for developing mountaineering skills, pushing one’s physical limits in the pursuit of the ultimate wilderness adventure, or for simply taking in an enjoyable multi-day backpacking trip in one of the most beautiful outdoor settings in North America.

Due to its wilderness setting and lack of roads or trails, accessing the interior of the Park is a very significant challenge.  Long approaches, dense vegetation, and steep climbs on mixed terrain keep away all, but the most seasoned and determined wilderness traveler.  Many of our guided climbs take place at the more accessible locations including Sahale Mountain, Eldorado Peak, Mount Shuksan, Glacier Peak and Mount Baker. 

For those looking to push deeper into the Park, the fabled Picket Range is one of the grandest and most sought after destinations.  The Pickets are one of the wildest and most unexplored regions in North America and have a fabled appeal with names such as Forbidden, Challenger, Fury and Terror.  These destinations test the skill, strength and determination of the most seasoned adventurer, but their payoff is amongst the grandest of any alpine destination in the World.

Glacier Peak

Glacier Peak is Washington's 5th highest mountain and only true wilderness volcano.  The mountain has become even more of a wilderness experience in recent years due to severe storm damage to the primary route access roads. 

Our route ascends via the North Fork of the Sauk River to the Pacific Crest Trail and White Pass.  From White Pass we approach the base of the mountain via a spectacular ridgeline traverse skirting both the White Chuck and Suiattle glaciers.  The ascent to the summit skirts Disappointment Peak at 9755 ft and reaches the summit via the Cool Glacier.

Note:  Due to their remote location and difficult access, many of the mountains in the North Cascades are not guided.  We can organize custom trips to many of these locations and are happy to assist you in pursuit of most any objective.  Please feel free to contact us at: , or call us at (818) 381-WILD for more information.


This trip is designed for beginners.  It is suitable for people of all ages who enjoy an active, adventurous, and educational outdoor experience.  No previous experience is required.


  • Ability to carry a pack weighing 30-35 pounds.
  • Good physical condition.
  • Must enjoy great food, incredible scenery, quiet solitude and a world of discovery.

Note: To maximize your enjoyment of the trip, we strongly encourage participants to be involved in a regular training regimen before the trip.  Good fitness is important to your overall enjoyment of the trip.

We invite you to come with us and experience some of the very best backcountry cuisine imaginable. Backcountry meals are a quintessential part of your wilderness experience and we have taken great strides to ensure you will have an unforgettable dining experience.  For more than a decade, the owners of North American Wilderness Leadership School have worked to perfect wilderness cuisine.  Each adventure is made a dash more savory with delicious food recipes that we have perfected over many years on the trail.  We take pride in serving healthy, flavorful, filling and nutritious gourmet wilderness cuisine rather than the usual camp fare and off-the-shelf backpacking food.  Regardless of the adventure, rest assured that we are committed to serving you the tastiest backcountry meals imaginable. We trust your wilderness meal experience will be “time deliciously spent”.

Note:  We are happy to accommodate vegetarian, vegan, kosher and non-gluten diets on request.  Please feel free to contact us to for additional information.

"When packing the rucksack, weight is the enemy.     -Gaston Rebuffat"

We will send you a complete equipment list for your trip following receipt of your application and deposit.  Our lists are updated on an annual basis to make sure you receive the most complete and up to date recommendations possible.  Equipment technology can change rapidly and we incorporate these changes when appropriate into each of our lists.  We also utilize feedback from our clients and guides to ensure you receive the very best gear recommendations available.

Once you receive our gear list, we suggest that your review it carefully and check off any items that you currently own, or can borrow from family or friends.  If you are uncertain if a particular gear item is suitable, please contact us to get our recommendation.  We will work with you carefully to make sure you have every item that you need—and nothing that you don’t.

Note:  Each team member will be required to carry a portion of the team gear in addition to their personal gear.  Please take this into consideration when packing for your trip.

North Cascades:  Eldorado Peak, Boston Basin / Sahale Peak, Mount Challenger, Fury, Luna Traverse

2020 Dates:  July 1 - August 31

Cost:  Varies

Glacier Peak Ascent

2020 Dates:  July 1 - August 31

Cost:  $975 per person

Note:  Custom trips are available.  Please contact us at for more information.


North American Wilderness Leadership School (NAWLS) is committed to providing you with an extraordinary wilderness adventure.  Our number one priority on all trips and courses is safety.  We never compromise safety and do everything possible to ensure you have the safest and most enjoyable trip possible.  Our experienced guides manage a variety of significant weather and route related hazards, but they cannot eliminate them.  They draw from their wealth of experience and training to make sure you have the safest trip possible.

Trip Plans & Itinerary:

NAWLS’s trip plans and itineraries are subject to change based on weather, terrain, route conditions and a variety of additional factors.  While we strive to maintain all listed plans and itineraries, we reserve the right to change plans as necessary to ensure that all guests receive the safest and highest quality trip possible.

Should any trip be cancelled due to weather, route conditions, or insufficient signups, a full trip refund will be provided.

Age Requirements:

To ensure the safest and highest quality trip for all participants, NAWLS adheres to the following age-specific requirements:

  • Ages 4 & Under:  No participants age 4 & under.
  • Ages 5 to 14:  May participate in all Family Adventure trips.  Must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  • Ages 15-17:  May participate in all trips and courses.  Must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  • Ages 18 & above:  No restrictions.

Note:  Under-aged participants on private trips and courses are assessed on an individual basis.

Guest Responsibilities:

Wilderness adventures require both individual commitment and team unification.  To ensure the strength and success of the team we ask that each participant:

  • be physically and mentally fit and properly attired and equipped.
  • be honest and accurate in describing their fitness, health, skills and equipment to their guides to ensure that everyone on their team has the opportunity for a safe, fun and successful wilderness adventure.


A 50% deposit is required to secure your reservation. Payments may be made via personal U.S. check (preferred), or by Paypal.  Please note that Paypal payments require a 3% additional fee for U.S. residents and a 4% additional fee for international residents.  Send payments by check to North American Wilderness Leadership School, 13110 NE 177th Place, Woodinville, Washington 98072, or by Paypal to:  .  Full payment is due 30 days prior to the start of your trip.


If you need to cancel your reservation please let us know as soon as possible.  Cancellation policies are as follows:

  • 90 days or more prior to trip start date: full refund of deposit.
  • 60-90 days prior to trip start date:  guest will be charged 50% of the deposit.
  • 30-60 days prior to trip start date:  guest will be charged 100% of the deposit.
  • 30 days or less prior to trip start date:  guest will be charged 100% of trip cost.

Note:  We highly encourage you to consider the purchase of travel insurance.  Typical policies provide coverage for trip cancellation, delay and medical expenses.  Travel insurance provides the best possible protection for travel related illness, injury, or delay.

Please follow these steps to make a reservation:

  1. Give us a call, or fill out our Contact Form to discuss dates and set up a trip.  Please have the following information available when you contact us: (1) trip or course type, (2) preferred and alternate dates, (3) size of group and (4) name, age, height and weight for all group members.

  2. Submit a trip/course application with a 50% deposit, or payment in full.  Note:  A deposit is required to process the application and reserve the date.  Full payment is due 30 days prior to the start of the trip.

Payment Methods:

  1. Personal U.S. Check (preferred).  Send to:  North American Wilderness Leadership School, 13110 NE 177th Place, #342, Woodinville, Washington 98072.

  2. Paypal.  Requires a 3% additional fee for U.S. residents and a 4% additional fee for international residents.  Send to:  .

As you prepare for your upcoming wilderness adventure, please feel free to contact us to with any questions including trip details, itinerary, qualifications, conditioning, equipment, etc.  Our experienced guides are happy to assist you with all of your pre-trip planning needs.  We are available Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. PST at (818) 381-WILD (9453), or .

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