• 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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  • Diablo Lake To Be Drawn Down Three Feet in Early Oct., Trailer-Launched Boats Affected

    Diablo Lake will be drawn down 3 vertical feet for facility repairs from October 1-15. During the drawdown, boats with trailers will not be able to launch or take boats off the water. Hand-launched vessels will still be able to launch. More »

  • 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 »

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routes in the park complex are located in wilderness, but some are wilder than others, and there may be limited or outdated information.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?

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.