• 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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  • State Route 20 closed at Mile Post 134, Ross Dam

    After a brief closure at Newhalem due to an avalanche and unstable conditions, SR 20 has re-opened to its normal winter closure point at MP 134, Ross Dam. The highway will remain closed from Ross Dam to MP 171 (Silver Star Creek) until spring re-opening. More »

  • Ross Dam Haul Road Closure Continues

    A short segment of the Ross Dam Haul Road between the Diablo Lake suspension bridge and the tunnel remains closed to public use due to continued recovery following a March 2010 landslide. The closure will remain in effect through 2014. More »

  • Notice of planned work for the Cascade River Road, fall 2014

    Visitors planning to access the park via the Cascade River Road after Labor Day should be advised that the Park Service is planning a fall closure of this road at Eldorado Creek (3 miles before the end of the road) in order to perform permanent repairs. More »

Climbing Conditions - Colonial, Pyramid, Snowfield Area

Current conditions for peaks in the immediate area of Pyramid, Colonial, and Snowfield can be found below. For conditions on other climbs, return to Planning a Climb.

Condition reports come from climbing and wilderness rangers, the voluntary climbing register, and other climbers. To make a climbing report, please the Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount. Please include the route, snow level, any hazards encountered (or not), peak(s) attempted, and whether your party successfully summitted.

All of the climbing routes in the park complex are located in wilderness, but some are wilder than others, and there may be limited or outdated information. Use these reports as a baseline, but plan for changing conditions and a true adventure. On many routes, the discovery, physical stress, and route-finding challenges are half the fun.

Colonial XC August 29th 2013

View of Colonial Glacier and Snowfield Peak area from Pyramid Peak summit (Aug. 28th 2013)

NPS/Christina Thompson

Colonial - Pyramid - Snowfield Area

Peak/Route Conditions Date Author
Approach / Pyramid Peak Pyramid Lake Trail

Trail in good shape. Only one small tree down.

Approach to Colonial / Snowfield Cross Country Zones

Climbers’ path from Pyramid Lake to base of Colonial Glacier is in “standard” shape. The approach is fully snow free until the glacier itself. The lake at the base of the Colonial Glacier is mostly melted out. There are a couple of two person tent size bivy sites on the West side of the lake. Lots of good water flowing near the lake. The lower Colonial Glacier is fully melted out – crampons a must for ice (dry glacier). Getting to the standard col between the Colonial Glacier and the Neve Glacier on Snowfield has no crevasse issues on the Colonial Glacier portion. There are a few good two person bivy sites at this col. The Neve appears broken up from a distance. The traverse from the Colonial Glacier to Pyramid Peak is nearly 100% snow – snow free on the last few hundred meters to summit.

8/29/13 Climbing Ranger
All Approach route from Pyramid Lake is snow free until about 5,500ft. The traverse from the approach ridge into Colonial Glacier basin is still mostly snow covered- use caution here as there are long runouts. Bivi sites near lake are still under snow. Some bivi sites on slabby bench melted out, but keep in mind these sites can be windy in the afternoon. Several bivi sites melted out at the col leading to Neve Glacier, with running water available. Neve Glacier is straight forward at this time, with a few small crevasses to step over, but crevasses will be opening up rapidly with warm weather. Snowfield scramble route completely melted out. Mostly solid snow approaches to all other peaks in the area. This area is becoming more popular- be sure to Leave No Trace, pack out blue bags, and store your food properly (bear canister, buried in snow, or hung on rocks) to avoid future problems. 07/06/13 Ranger

Email an updated report for any routes or peaks in this area.

Did You Know?

Grizzly bear track in North Cascades National Park (1989). Photo Credit: NPS/NOCA/Roger Christophersen

Grizzly bear tracks can be a reliable indicator of species? Grizzly bear and black bear forepaw tracks are distinct from one another and often times better than a photo of the bear to confirm an observation. So don't just look up, look down.