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Climbing Washington's Five Peak Pins
Here to practice a cherished pastime of well-known preservationist Theodore Roosevelt? Well you’ve come to the right place. Washington’s scenic peaks and forested trails will lead you to an adventure you won’t soon forget: mountaineering. First, mountaineering is a combination of hiking, mountain climbing, and sometimes skiing – whatever it takes to get to and from an impressive height.
Washington is a choice state for mountaineers thanks to the Five Peak Pins – the Evergreen State’s top five peaks in terms of climbing and prominence. The Five Peak Pins are, in order of elevation: Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt. Baker, Glacier Peak, and Mt. Olympus.
The highest point in the Washington Cascades, Mt. Rainier – set of course within Mt. Rainier National Park – stands at 14,411 feet. The contiguous United States’ fifth highest mountain, Mount Rainier is best climbed by the Muir Route – named after famed naturalist John Muir – lead by International Mountain Guides, Alpine Ascents International, and Rainier Mountain Guides.
The next three highest peaks are also set in the Washington Cascades – from the Gifford Pinchot National Forest to the North Cascades National Park. Mt. Adams, served by guide companies Mountain Madness and Northwest Mountain School, peaks at 12,276 feet – while Mt. Baker stands at 10,781 feet within the Mt. Baker National Forest. Set in the Wenatchee National Forest, Glacier Peak tops at 10,520 feet – and can even been seen from Seattle.
Set on the Washington Coast, Mt. Olympus is the lowest point of the Five Peak Pins – though still clocking in at 7,969 feet and holds title as the highest peak in the Olympic Mountains. Protected by the Olympic National Park, Mt. Olympus is home to five glaciers.