Here’s what you need
- Backpack, sized 55-75 L
- Backpacking Tent (available to rent for an additional fee)
- Sleeping Bag, rated 20 degrees or lower (available to rent for an additional fee)
- Sleeping Pad (available to rent for an additional fee)
- Water bottles or Camelbak, 3L total minimum capacity
- Mug, bowl, and utensil
- Small towel or facecloth
- Trekking Poles
- Sleeping bag liner
- Hiking boots, waterproof with sturdy soles
- Wool hiking socks, multiple pairs
- Long sleeve base layers (synthetic and moisture wicking)
- Long pant base layer (synthetic and moisture wicking)
- Light synthetic shirt or tank for warmer days
- Hiking pants or shorts (at least one pair should be long pants)
- Insulating mid layers (fleece jacket or vest, down jacket)
- Waterproof, windproof shell
- Light gloves
- Warm hat
- Balaclava or buff
- Casual clothes for camp
- Round Trip Transportation from Seattle
- Licensed and medically trained guide team
- Meals as outlined in itinerary
- Group equipment
- Park permits and fees
- Airfare to Seattle
- Personal gear and equipment
- Meals not outlined in itinerary
- Gratuity for guides
- Final night of accommodations (optional add-on upon check out)
This trip departs from Seattle. If you're not arriving into Seattle in advance or staying past the duration of the trip, your flight should arrive no later 12 PM on day one of the itinerary and depart anytime on day seven. Those departing from Seattle should plan to meet at Arc'teryx on Northwest 23rd at 11 AM on day one. You'll return by about 5 PM on the sixth day of the itinerary.
Each night (with the exception of the optional final night in Seattle) will be spent at camp. If you do not have your own backpacking tent, you can opt to rent one. Nights one and two will be a Mowich Lake, a "drive up" campground where you will have access to the van and privies. Starting on day three, we will be backpacking and all gear, food, and equipment will be carried by the group. Campsites along the route are established sites with privies, bear boxes or poles, and water sources.
For those traveling from outside of Seattle or wishing to stay with the group, please be sure to select the optional add-on for a hotel room on the final night of the itinerary. Stays will be at a hotel near Bellevue with double, shared accommodations.
The high mountain areas have extremely variable weather. The evenings can turn cold and the days can warm up substantially, even in the alpine environment. Strong winds, rain, hail, even the occasional snow shower may be encountered. Daytime time temperatures typically range between 55-75 degrees. Overnight lows typically range from 35-50 degrees.
This trip does not require technical climbing skills or experience. It does, however, require a high level of physical fitness. We strongly encourage our hikers to experience hiking on rugged trails, particularly up and down steep hills, while carrying weight. The difference in difficulty while carrying the weight of a fully loaded backpack can sometimes come as a surprise to hikers, so you are encouraged to try challenging day hikes with a weighted backpack. Those who are in good shape are more likely to enjoy the experience and the views along the trail.
Give yourself adequate time to prepare, particularly if this form and intensity of exercise is new. For three days a week, focus on an hour or more of aerobic exercise such as running, cycling, swimming, etc. Gym equipment such as stairmasters and rowing machines can supplement cardiovascular training. Day hikes or other longer endeavors will help you prepare for the endurance required for a backpacking trip. Carrying a 20 to 30 pound pack uphill on trails or stadium steps will simulate the real climb better than anything. Lifting moderate weights to increase core body, leg, and arm strength is also a good idea. Focus on quads and hamstrings—legs need strength and endurance. Being generally fit and having some solid stamina for long days is the overall goal.
Upon registration, a member of the DO team will consult on your experience and fitness and recommend a regimen for training.
This is the perfect trip for experienced hikers looking for a challenging backcountry experience. We recommend this trip for participants who have a moderate to high level of fitness and basic outdoor skills. Previous backpacking experience is helpful but is not required. Those will a base level of fitness are encouraged to train for about three months prior to the trip.