Erupting out of the shadow of Mount Rainier, the Tatoosh Mountain Range provides some of the most spectacular mixed alpine and rock climbs the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Pinnacle Peak and The Castle perch in the middle of the range and offer climbers panoramic views of Mount Rainier, Unicorn Peak, Goat Rocks Wilderness, and the surrounding national park. These two majestic peaks provide a true mixed alpine experience. Snowfields lead up to the base of The Castle for the first technical, single-pitch rock climb where the adventurous climber will ascend a low fifth-class rock face on the south side. Following a rappel, climbers traverse west over to Pinnacle Peak for one more easy fifth-class climb and rappel for an action packed, two-summit day.
Early in the season the trail should only be attempted in the company of an experienced alpine climber as snow and avalanche danger may produce hazardous conditions. Following the mountaineering route, climbers meander up the steep, wooded, snow-covered north slope to the ridge east of The Castle with thrilling glissading opportunities on the down climb. Climbers should take caution not to get off-route as the trail can be difficult to follow and numerous cliffs pose hazards. The rock pitches on each summit present a great opportunity for the beginning traditional climber to place protection up the easy fifth-class scramble.
Note: Backcountry camping in the Tatoosh range is permitted in restricted areas with a free backcountry permit available at the Longmire Wilderness Information Center (360.569.6650). Take note that the area directly surrounding and to the south of The Castle and Pinnacle Peaks is a no camping zone. The park also offers countless opportunities for one and multi-day hikes and climbs. While the Tatoosh range offers more of an alpine climbing experience, there are many nearby trails for the less technical thrill-seekers as well. For more information contact Mount Rainier National Park (360.569.2211).