Selected Climbs in the Cascades. Jim Nelson and Peter Potterfield. The Mountaineers, Seattle, Washington, 1993. 234 pages. 142 black-and-white illustrations, 26 topos, 4 line maps. $22.95
The Cascades offer some of the most varied climbing terrain found anywhere in a single range in the lower 48 States. From unique glacier climbs on solitary volcanoes to the rugged and remote peaks in the North Cascades, there are numerous routes that will appeal to climbers of all skill levels. To the beginner or newcomer to the Cascades, wading through the three volumes of Fred Beckey’s Cascade Alpine Guide to pick just the right trip in this complex range can be intimidating and time-consuming.
This volume is intended to help climbers sort through this information by presenting route descriptions for 90 climbs that are, in the authors’ opinion, the best in the Cascades. This book contains a good sampling of many fine routes that are located all throughout the range. Some of the climbs described in this book are easy walk-ups, and some are difficult technical routes. The types of climbs are varied as well, including routes that involve glacier travel, snow-and-ice climbing, alpine rock climbing, and crag climbing. As such, this book will appeal to those interested in general mountaineering as well as technical climbing.
The route descriptions in this book are organized by location, and not according to difficulty. As such, a difficult route that requires considerable climbing experience may be located on a page next to one that is considerably easier. So before heading out, the reader should pay close attention to the difficulty ratings and any other special considerations such as the appropriate conditions required for the route to be safe.
The book is easy to use with short descriptions and historical information for each peak or route, difficulty ratings, approach directions, and a description of the climbing and descent routes. Many of the route descriptions include photos that are marked to show the climbing route and some include topos.
To prepare this guide, the authors have spent considerable time doing research and consulting with other climbers. This has helped to correct some mistakes from previous guides, and many new routes have been included that are not published elsewhere.