The Snoqualmie Haute Route: Going on Tour


Direction of Travel:

Travel from the end of the Middle Fork Road (north) to Snoqualmie Pass (south) via Hardscrabble Lake, Big Snow Mountain, Crawford Lake, Mount Hinman, the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River, the col west of Summit Chief Mountain, the Overcoat Glacier, Iceberg Lake, the col west of Lemah Mountain, Chikamin Peak, Joe Lake, Thompson Basin, Gravel Lake, and the col southeast of Red Mountain.

Length: About 40 miles and 20,000 vertical feet of climbing. Depending on your fitness, allow three to six days.

Equipment: Randonnée (Alpine touring) skis, boots, and bindings; climbing skins and crampons for your skis; ice axe, avalanche transceiver, shovel, crampons, emergency gear, short rope, and overnight camping gear.

Maps: Snoqualmie Pass, Chikamin Peak, Big Snow, and Mount Daniel (USGS 7.5-minute series).

Season: Mid April to early June.

Guides: The route demands solid navigation and avalanche-safety skills. For guided trips, contact Martin Volken or Mike Hattrup at Pro Guiding Service, 425-888-6397,


Craig DiPietro, Somewhere between Keystone and Breck

The Hillbilly Haute Route

Who can afford to ski the real Haute Route during a recession? What we need is a domestic version, a tour connecting, say, nine ski areas in Colorado. It’s out there for any mountain yokel willing to hoist a heavy pack, bribe snowmobilers, and break trail where trails aren’t meant to be broken. It starts in luxury and ends with nearly rotten mayonnaise—conditions permitting.