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Ruth Mountain hiking and mountaineering


North Cascades and International Climbing School

Whether reach­ing the sum­mit of your dreams, prus­sik­ing out of a crevasse, rap­pelling a ver­ti­cal rock face, or becom­ing com­fort­able head­ing out in the back­coun­try for some fresh pow­der, our high­ly skilled guides help you each step of the way.

Our school’s mis­sion is to help you devel­op strong lead­er­ship skills and pro­vide the in-depth instruc­tion you need to become a viable mem­ber of a climb­ing team, a com­pe­tent rock climb­ing part­ner, or to advance your skills for the next level.

Moun­tain Mad­ness’ domes­tic climb­ing schools take place in the North Cas­cades and Olympic Nation­al Parks and the Alpine Lakes, Glac­i­er Peak, and Mount Bak­er Wilder­ness areas. Vis­i­tors will find ancient forests, cas­cad­ing water­falls, hun­dreds of glac­i­ers, pris­tine alpine lakes and mead­ows, and wildlife that include wolves, bears, mar­mots, moun­tain goats, and a vari­ety of birds. Because of its rugged approach­es, excep­tion­al alpine ter­rain, and unri­valed scenery, it is the pre­mière train­ing ground for climbers in North America.

Inter­na­tion­al pro­grams include moun­taineer­ing cours­es in Bolivia and Ecuador. These cours­es pro­vide climb­ing instruc­tion not only for learn­ing the fun­da­men­tals of moun­taineer­ing, but also pro­vide expe­ri­ence at high alti­tudes and pre­pares par­tic­i­pants for expe­di­tion-type climbs. 

Each pro­gram offers a thor­ough selec­tion of cours­es from the basics to the most advanced skills need­ed to climb and ski the great peaks of the world. We are proud to have car­ried on our founder, Scott Fischer’s dream of bring­ing the beau­ty, excite­ment, and trans­form­ing pow­er of adven­ture to those who jour­ney with us. From Mount Bak­er to Mount Ever­est, we invite you to come share the pas­sion of adventure!

The objec­tives of our school are threefold;

  • To give par­tic­i­pants the expe­ri­ence need­ed to join pro­gres­sive­ly more chal­leng­ing guid­ed trips, from our Intro to Moun­taineer­ing course all the way to Mount Ever­est, and every­thing in between!
  • To help begin­ners to devel­op the skills and judg­ment that ulti­mate­ly allow par­tic­i­pants to become inde­pen­dent climbers, reliant on them­selves and not the ser­vices of a guide.
  • To devel­op in aspir­ing guides the chance to learn from pro­fes­sion­als while on their way to becom­ing lead­ers for moun­taineer­ing clubs, col­lege climb­ing clubs, or up and com­ing guides for Moun­tain Madness!


Moun­tain Mad­ness has high­ly trained staff. Our guides are either ful­ly cer­ti­fied in their respec­tive areas or ful­ly cer­ti­fied IFMGA?AMGA cer­ti­fied guides. Thise not cer­ti­fied are required to be in the process of achiev­ing cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. All of our lead guides are trained as Wilder­ness First Respon­ders and all con­tin­ue to pur­sue their own climb­ing goals through expe­di­tions and chal­leng­ing ascents. We care­ful­ly design every cur­ricu­lum, hand-select our course loca­tions, and main­tain small group sizes so that each client gets indi­vid­ual atten­tion and train­ing. Rock, ice or snow – we offer all the cours­es you need to become the com­plete alpinist.

Moun­tain Mad­ness is accred­it­ed by the Amer­i­can Moun­tain Guides Asso­ci­a­tion, which lets you know that our ser­vice meets an inter­na­tion­al­ly rec­og­nized stan­dard of reli­a­bil­i­ty and pro­fes­sion­al­ism both in the field and in our office. For more infor­ma­tion about this see Why Go With Moun­tain Mad­ness.

Moun­tain Mad­ness frees you from the logis­ti­cal plan­ning and allows you to focus on the experience.

Our trips include:

  • Tents and group climb­ing equipment
  • Trans­porta­tion from Seat­tle to the moun­tain and back
  • Expe­ri­enced office staff to help you pre­pare for your trip
  • A full rental pro­gram with ice axe, har­ness, boots, cram­pons, hel­mets, and ski poles

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