In her 2004 book Washington’s Highest Mountains: Basic Alpine & Glacier Routes, Peggy Goldman offers a delightful introduction to the rich mountaineering history of Washington State and the infamous Bulger Top 100 List. The Bulger list, as Goldman points out in her intro, is the brainchild of a group of Boeing engineers who, back in the 1970’s, used to palaver regularly about their personal Alpine exploits and eventually came up with a list of 100 peaks in Washington that would come to represent the new benchmark for mountaineering achievement in Washington.
Goldman’s book is a guide to climbing 61 of the most challenging of these peaks and an excellent research tool for anyone seeking Alpine adventures on the rugged terrain of the Washington Cascades. Each of the 35 trips in the book has a detailed description of the easiest route to the summit and a suggested way of linking multiple peaks into one trip. Included in the description are elevation gain, difficulty rating, expected trip times, a map, at least one area photo from the peak or of the peak from a nearby vantage point, driving directions to trailheads, and a GPS Waypoint Route. Having ticked a couple of these peaks off my own list, I found Goldman’s route descriptions, driving directions and maps to be accurate and the photos she chose for inclusion to be stunning as well as helpful for getting located.
Washington’s Highest Mountains only provides descriptions for the easiest routes to the summit, so if you are looking for more difficult paths you may want to consider other resources like Fred Becky’s Cascade Alpine Guide, which contains detailed route descriptions of far more technical and less traveled Alpine routes.
Whether you’re interested in learning more about Washington’s mountaineering tradition or looking for inspiration to start exploring the Cascade Alpine, you’ll find Washington’s Highest Mountains a great addition to your library. Perhaps it will even inspire you to build your mountaineering skills and join the ranks of the elite few who have completed the Top 100.
In 2003 Goldman, an experienced mountaineer herself, became the twentieth person to climb all 100 of the Bulger list. Her experience climbing all of these peaks paired with her fine research and commitment to accurate descriptions and helpful photos makes Washington’s Highest Mountains a valuable resource for any experienced or aspiring mountaineer.
Washington’s Highest Mountains: Basic Alpine & Glacier Routes
Author: Peggy Goldman
Publisher: Wilderness Press