• View from Sourdough Mountain Overlook  A view looking down onto Diablo Lake. Photo Credit: NPS/Michael Silverman, 2010.

    North Cascades

    National Park Washington

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  • Cascade River Road will be open as normal through fall/winter 2014

    Cascade River Rd. will be open in 2014 until snow conditions make it impassable to vehicles, as normal. The road closure that was planned to begin September 8 has been postponed beyond 2014 due to unforeseen circumstances. More »

  • Lone Mountain Fire - National Park Service Trail Closures

    The Lone Mountain Fire in North Cascades National Park is approximately 5 mi NW of Stehekin in the Boulder Creek drainage. Boulder Creek Trail is closed. More »

  • Re-opening of Adjacent U.S. Forest Service Road and Trails that Access North Cascades NP Complex

    The area closure of the Twisp River Road and the Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest due to wildfires has been lifted as of August 19, 2014. More »

Mountaineering Fatality in North Cascades National Park


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News Release Date: August 10, 2009
Contact: Kelly Bush, 360 854-7241

A climber was killed early Sunday, August 9, 2009 in a mountaineering accident involving an icefall. Craig Luebben, 49, of Golden, Colorado, and Guillermo Benegas of Sandy, Utah, were beginning the Torment-Forbidden Traverse, which is an alpine rock ridge traverse connecting the two peak summits. The climb begins with an ascent of Mount Torment.

Having ascended most of the Taboo Glacier on approach to Mount Torment’s southeast face, the two climbers were negotiating a huge gap between two sections of ice called a bergshrund. When Luebben moved onto the upper section of glacier, a 100’ tall, 20’ wide and 10’ deep piece of ice broke off taking the climber with it. A single cam device held his fall, but he still fell approximately 40 feet and was critically injured by falling ice. Pieces of ice also hit climbing partner Benegas, but he was able to position Luebben on a ledge and scramble to a location where he could call 911 with a cell phone. National Park Service rangers were transported to the scene by via helicopter and preceded with a recovery and rescue of the two climbers.

Luebben was a well known and accomplished climber, Everest guide and author having first ascents in Yosemite, Rocky Mountain, Zion and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Parks.

Did You Know?

lupine is a common flower in dry sunny areas

In addition to Wilderness, Recreation Areas and National Park designations there are also five Research Natural Areas in the complex: Silver Lake, Pyramid Lake, Boston Glacier, Stetattle Creek and Big Beaver Valley.