Sinister Peak/Northwest Face

An attractive basic climb on a remote peak along the Ptarmigan Traverse in the Glacier Peak Wilderness, close enough to Dome Peak to allow a two-peak itinerary.

getting there

Take Exit 208 (Arlington) off of I-5 and drive 32 miles east on SR-530 through Darrington.  Continue 7 miles to the Suiattle River Rd and drive approximately 21 miles to the Downey Creek Campground and the Downey Creek Trailhead. 


Follow the Downey Creek Trail 6.5 miles to Sixmile Camp.  Locate and follow a trail easterly along the north side of Bachelor Creek to where it crosses the creek at 3,700 ft (approximately 9.5 miles).  Follow the trail into a dense, brushy thicket where it turns sharply left (east) and ascends the valley near the creek and then through timber and steep switchbacks to Cub Lake Pass (6,000 ft), northwest of Cub Lake. Descend to Cub Lake and follow the path around the lake and steeply up to Itswoot Ridge.


From Itswoot ridge, traverse east across heather, snow and scree.  Ascend the gullies and bear right (east), rising to meet the Dome Glacier on its northwest side. Ascend to the N shoulder of Dome, and the Dome-Chickamin Glacier Col, approximately 8,500 ft.  Descend the Chickamin Glacier northeasterly to 7,200 ft where you can traverse right and climb to the 7,640 ft Dome-Sinister col; a bergshrund may pose problems in late season. From the col, climb moderate snow on the NW face, ending with an easy scramble (Class 2-3) to the summit (8,440 ft).


    TIME (HOURS)       
Seattle to Trailhead 2.5 1450
Trailhead to Camp 1 8-9 3900
Camp 1 to Camp 2 3-4 3450
Camp to Summit 6 -1600, +1300
Summit to Cars 12 -7000


Standard glacier travel gear.

  • Difficulty: Basic Glacier Climb
  • Length: 35.0 None
  • Elevation Gain: 11,400 ft
  • 8,440 ft
  • USGS Dome Peak
  • USGS Downey Mtn
  • Green Trails Cascade Pass No. 80
  • Trails Illustrated North Cascades National Park
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