Archive for the ‘Adventure’ Category

Mastering the Mountains

Wednesday, January 31st, 2024


Winter, with its pristine snow-covered landscapes, invites adventure enthusiasts to explore the great outdoors. However, the thrill of backcountry touring, skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing comes with its own set of challenges, chief among them being avalanches. Understanding the nuances of avalanches and the skill of navigating snowy landscapes is essential for any winter explorer. 

At Edgeworks, we understand the allure of untouched snow and wanting to recreate responsibly. That’s why we’ve partnered with AIARE (American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education) to provide avalanche education courses. AIARE is the national standard in avalanche education with a mission to “save lives through education” at all experience levels.  Our courses are tailored to empower new and experienced mountain travelers with the knowledge and skills needed to more confidently travel in avalanche-prone areas.


1. Expert Guidance

Our avalanche education courses are led by AIARE certified instructors and ski guides with experience guiding around the world, from the North Cascades to Norway. Not only do they provide invaluable insights into avalanches and decision-making, they’ll also show you how to find good snow, keep warm in the coldest conditions, and adjust your plan for the day’s conditions,ensuring you are well-equipped for your winter adventures. 

2. Local Knowledge

Edgeworks guides are local to the Pacific Northwest and have been skiing and climbing in the Cascades for over 30 years. We know these mountains deeply and look forward to sharing our understanding of these places with you. 

3. Community Connection

Participating in an Edgeworks AIARE course, you have an instant community of folks who share your passion for winter adventures. By learning together, you also contribute to a larger culture of awareness and preparedness within the outdoor community, enhancing safety for everyone. Students in our courses often continue to go to the mountains together, long after the course has ended.


AIARE courses have been developed through decades of research and professional experience. Since 1998, AIARE has worked with guides, ski patrollers, highway departments, and the public to produce courses that are up-to-date, engaging, and offer practical tools for everyone.

1. Make Better Decisions

Edgeworks’ AIARE courses equip you with tangible tools to thoughtfully prepare for winter trips in the mountains. From assessing avalanche terrain to communicating with your friends, our courses can increase your confidence in yourself, your group and your adventures while managing potential risks.

2. Hands-on Training

We believe in learning through practical experience. All of our courses include field sessions where you apply your knowledge in and around real avalanche terrain. We’ll practice a range of avalanche rescue scenarios for small groups, identify actual avalanche paths, and communicate our assessment of current conditions. These sessions will further your skills and boost your confidence when facing challenging winter conditions. 

3. Comprehensive Learning

Edgeworks’ courses cover a wide range of topics, from trip planning, to route finding, snow layers, and avalanche rescue techniques. Our curriculum is designed to provide a holistic understanding of avalanches, planning and communication tools for your group, helping you to make better decisions before and during your trip. We also assist in developing a plan for continuing your education after the course has ended.

AIARE 1 – The foundation of avalanche education. Learn about avalanche forecasts, terrain, and the basics of rescue. Spend two days in the mountains putting your knowledge to use in real terrain.

AIARE 2 – Take your skills to the next level. Learn more about the snowpack, avalanche forecasting, travel techniques, and get mentored practice while spending three days in the mountains together.

AIARE Rescue – A one day course for practicing the skills needed for an avalanche rescue including using a beacon, effective digging strategies, group management, and what to do after an avalanche. Take it as a stand-alone, refresher, or with your friends to feel more confident with your touring partners.


Winter beckons with its endless opportunities for adventure, and Edgeworks AIARE Avalanche Education Courses provide you with the expertise needed to explore with more confidence. Our expert instructors, comprehensive curriculum, hands-on training, and community-oriented approach make our courses the ideal choice for anyone seeking to learn the art of backcountry exploration.

Are you ready to elevate your winter adventures? Enroll in Edgeworks AIARE Avalanche Education Courses today and embark on a journey in the heart of winter’s wonderland. 

 Adventure with confidence! Contact us now to start your journey.

Outdoor Gear Rentals

Thursday, December 1st, 2022

Rent the gear needed for your next outdoor climbing adventure!

Check out our ALL NEW outdoor gear rental program, including:

  • Climbing Shoes
  • Crash Pads
  • Climbing Helmets (adult + youth)

For more details, stop by the front desk or give us a call.

  • Bellevue: (425) 644-2445
  • Seattle: (206) 781-9828
  • Tacoma: (253) 564-4899

I just wanted to climb

Sunday, May 3rd, 2020

An open letter to the Edgeworks Community

written by: Hal Warren

To my Edgeworks family,

In light of the pandemic that we all have been affected by, I would like to speak as an athlete whose lifestyle is inherently intertwined with training at the gym and getting outside to climb. But most importantly, I would like to speak as a member of the Edgeworks community. A community that has practically raised me since I was 11 years old.

Things are difficult. And for most of my life I have dealt with difficult things by going climbing. Over the years, the sport became an outlet like no other, a perfect mindfulness practice, and a place where I could freely and unapologetically express my personality. Edgeworks, alongside the local climbing areas in WA, became my sanction. In the same way Washington’s wild beauty serves many members at Edgeworks, I felt the happiest when out in the forest climbing.

When my school shut down and Edgeworks didn’t, my first response was psych that I now had 30 extra hours in my week to be at the climbing gym. Then Edgeworks closed. And I got ecstatic that I would finally have time to put down some of my sport projects at exit 32 and to finally send my projects in Index. With that excitement for all the climbing I was about to do came the statewide “Stay Home Stay Safe” initiative by Gov. Inslee, an act to keep Washingtonians safe and make sure those who need the resources we do have can receive the care they need.

At first, I was confused and had trouble wrapping my head around the fact that I was going to have to spend the near future at home. Not in the climbing gym, not at the crag, and not with my people. Confused about why my happy place in the forest was suddenly not where I was supposed to be and why it would have any effect on others if I just made my little escape to the rocks. My privilege slapped me across the face. I was worried about my little escape to the forest more than I was worried about people’s family members dying. And how could I not? I was only acting out of instinct and doing what I’ve always done. I just wanted to climb. As climbers, smart Washingtonians, and humans, we have an obligation. An obligation to help our climbing, state, and human communities stay safe. We can’t let our personal desires get in the way of doing what is right.

With the closures of areas like Bishop and Moab, I started to think about our own areas here in Washington that need protection. If we flood the crags and boulder field parking areas at first chance once they reopen, we are at risk of access becoming limited, restricted all together and/or worst case, we risk our reputation as climbers. We must think holistically and proactively as to how we are going to continue to help our own community and at risk communities with limited resources. We must be aware of the impact our recreation and sport has on smaller communities and we must take initiative to ensure that we as climbers are helping, not making things harder.

I am committed myself and encourage you as a community to think about how your actions as climbers and outdoor enthusiasts will affect the places you love. Before you launch out of the house at first knowledge that areas are opened again, reflect on your impact and how you will reduce it. This is a defining moment for us as climbers to do a small bit of good in the world. And the world needs as much good as it can get.

With love,
Hal Warren
Team Edgeworks coach and athlete

Guides of Edgeworks

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

Trip Report: Mt. Rainier | July 2018

by Andrew Powell

On July 15, 2018, Edgeworks’ head guide, Tod Bloxham, 4 guests, and I gathered at the gym to prep gear and drive out to the White River Ranger Station to begin our journey up Mt. Rainier.

Day 1
The forecast was good, if a bit too hot. We knew the sky would be clear and that there would be a lot of sunscreen in the coming 4 days. What we didn’t know, is that the standard Emmons-Winthrop route was rapidly falling apart.

The first day was an approach hike into Glacier Basin. The views of the route and mountain on the way to this camp are phenomenal and it serves as a means to ease into the 10’000ft gain of our trip. We enjoyed each-others company, told stories, and spent the evening generally relaxing and appreciating the views.

Day 2
Day two was allocated for snow skills training and the push to Camp Schurman. After a hearty breakfast and a casual start, we moved up the mountain and dialed in some essential climbing skills, like self-arrest and efficiency in snow travel.

As we continued up the mountain, we began to receive reports from other groups who were on their way out of hazardous conditions on the route, including collapsing snow bridges and at least one crevasse fall that required climber extraction. This news was a bit ominous, but Tod and I remained optimistic. Upon reaching Camp Schurman, the climbing rangers on sight gave us a run down on conditions. The standard route was no good and success would require a much more challenging and steeper route.

Day 3
Due to the daytime heat, we opted to rest and use the day to acclimate before having an early dinner and setting out for a 9pm start toward our objective. This allowed everyone to recuperate their energy reserves, and to mentally prepare for the big day. It also gave us the best possible snow conditions for the climb and descent of Mt. Rainier. We were roped up and ready to climb by 8:40pm and climbed through the night.

Day 4 – The Climb
We started out onto the Emmons Glacier via the standard bridge crossing out of camp. This was straight forward and the crossing over to “The Corridor” at 10,200’ was simple. This is where the reports of hazardous conditions and weak bridges were coming from. The climbing rangers advised us that staying climbers right in the more exposed terrain was the best path, as opposed to the typical “up the middle” path.

Part way up The Corridor, I checked my altimeter and realized that we were going to make it. The team had ample time to rest and everyone was climbing strong. We were moving up the mountain faster than expected while maintaining a sustainable pace.

At the top of The Corridor, the standard route leads climbers right to the “The Alpine Meadow”. The heat of the previous two weeks had obliterated this path, and it was in a right state. The alternate was to head climbers left into a large, steep bowl. This proved straightforward, but steep and icy. The cramponing was excellent, but the grade was unrelenting. For hours, we toiled upward; traversing and climbing slopes that make the standard route look easy. We trended far right at the top of the bowl to cross the final bergschrund, and reached the summit at about 5:30am.

We had climbed through the night, seeing both an amazing sunset and a glorious sunrise on route. The descent took us a fair amount of time, as the slopes were so steep. After some food, rest and packing up camp, we headed out to the parking lot and the Edgeworks van.

The trip was a great success and we are super excited for next season!

Trip Report: Vantage

Monday, April 30th, 2018

Springtime at Vantage

with Andrew Powell

Spring has arrived!

Or at least it has hinted at its arrival which makes this the perfect season for climbing at Vantage.

On March 26th, Andrew lead our first outdoor rock climbing trip of the season.

The destination: the freestanding basalt columns of Frenchman Coulee (also known as Vantage)
The goal: to tune-up their skills on crack climbs and trad routes and also have a good time.
The routes: ‘Party in your Pants (5.8 trad)’, ‘Easy Off (5.10c sport)’; then ‘Pony Keg (5.9 trad)’, ‘Crossing the Threshold (5.8 trad)’, and finally ‘Air Guitar (5.10a trad)’.
The outcome: A great day on dry rock with awesome people – success!

If you’re looking to get outside for the first time this season, our group climbing trips are the perfect introduction to climbing at Vantage, North Bend, Mt. Erie, and Smith Rock.

Upcoming Edgeworks Group Climbing Trips:

 –  Trad Lead & Multi-Pitch: April 27th-28th, 2018
 –  Vantage Crag Day: May 25th, 2018

Regardless of your experience level, our guides and instructors are available to assist with expertise and knowledge – from navigating climbing areas and finding the right routes for you to climb, to offering that additional level of confidence to help take your outdoor sport, trad, or alpine climbing to the next level.

Our personal guiding options can open the door to new adventures and new places including Leavenworth, Darrington, Morningstar Peak, Castle Rock, Smith Rock, Boston Basin, Forbidden Peak, Glacier Peak, Mt. Baker, Mt. Shuksan, Terror Basin and the North Cascades.

Contact Andrew for more details:


Staff Adventures: Dragontail

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Climbing the Triple Couloirs on Dragontail

by Collin Jenkins

Earlier this month, I went out with fellow Edgeworks staffer, Andrew Powell, and climbed the Triple Couloirs on Dragontail Peak (early May 2017).  This route has intimidated me for over a year since it first got on my radar.  After being turned back once with a different partner due to avalanche concerns, Andrew and I went back with a 24 hour window.

At 3am, the route started off unexpectedly stout with a small bergschrund crossing and pitch of solid WI3 ice and I thought, “There’s no way I can finish this.” But in the spirit of adventure and “try hard” I took off on the first couloir.  In no time, my blood was up and we were in a rhythm. We encountered a little scary mixed climbing and temperatures much lower than we were expecting, but not stopping keeps you warm! We caught a sunny break on the summit ridge, bagged the summit and headed down Asgard Pass.

Twenty hours, 14,000ft of elevation change, and around 20 miles after we set out, we completed our car-to-car ascent.

This route revealed to me that the “in-a-day” mentality I’ve observed in so many Pacific Northwest Alpinists I respect isn’t as crazy–​or demanding of superhuman endurance–as I thought.  Believing in yourself, trusting your partner, and simply not giving up can go a long way.  Endless calories and good weather help too!


Gold Bar Bouldering Day

Friday, August 12th, 2016

gold bar blog header

“Leave No Trace” Day at Gold Bar

July 31, 2016 | Josh Bennett and Jimmy Grant

It was a cool summer morning as we rumbled out of the Edgeworks parking lot headed for Gold Bar and a fun day of bouldering adventures. Fast forward an hour and we had left the urban sprawl and the gray marine layer behind for the soaring peaks and brilliant sunshine to the east. The van erupted with conversation and excitement as Josh rattled off history about the area and other fun facts as we passed landmarks and pulled up to the trailhead.

After dividing up the climbing gear, Josh and Jimmy handed a trash bag to each member of the group and began to detail the 7 principles of the “Leave No Trace” ethics. As we made our way up the trail we kept our eyes peeled for litter, picking up anything we found and packing it out. The trails were in great condition when we arrived, so we only collected a of handful things. But we know that every little bit helps and a trash free trail will hopefully inspire others to pack it out as well.

After a great hike with stunning views, we were finally sitting under the boulders of “The Samurai”. Josh and Jimmy hurried around placing crash pads around Midnight Lichen boulder as the group had a bite to eat and got their climbing gear on. After a quick discussion about pad placement, spotting, and pad etiquette we were off and climbing with successful sends across a wide range of grades.

As we moved on to the next cluster of boulders known as “Warm-Up Circuit”, Josh noticed a few unsightly tick marks left by a previous group and took this opportunity to talk about proper use of tick marks and the importance of removing them when you are done and always striving to leave everything looking as natural as possible. We then gave those giant rookie stripes a good brush!

Once the sun had really warmed things up, we headed to the true prize of the day – “Fern Crack”, a shaded highball in the heart of the Gold Bar boulders with several variants ranging from v0-v12. After laying down all 10 pads at the base everyone took their turn questing up the 20 ft gently overhanging face. It was really awesome to see the group come together, cheer each other on and make sure everyone felt safe and comfortable even while way off the deck. Awesomely everyone sent at least some version of this 4 star climb with a roar of applause every time someone stood atop this truly magnificent boulder.

From this point day’s end was fast approaching and we marched all the way to the opposite side of the forest for the last few climbs of the day, Beam Me Up and Scotty – both must do’s if you’re in the area. We padded the landing and crowded around as everyone wrestled with these classics on near perfect stone.

When the last pad was packed and a final sweep of the area had been done, we headed down through “The Clearcut” and back down the logging road making sure everyone understood how the roads connected to the boulders. The hike out was topped off with a stop at the famous 5 Star boulder followed by a lot of discussion about all the things we want to do on our next trip.

For more pictures from the day, check out the Gold Bar Bouldering Day album on our Facebook page.


Get Outside With Us!

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Outdoor Days

The gym is great with its community, accessibility, and variety; but we all REALLY LOVE TO CLIMB OUTSIDE and we want to take you with us!

Crag Nights

Summer evenings at the crag in North Bend! Join us for an after work, mid-week, evening at the crag. $20/member, or $40 Learn More

Pitches & Pitchers

Spend the whole day climbing outside; then relax and share stories from the day with new friends, great beer, and tasty food. $89/members, or $129 Learn More

Guided Outdoor Days

Enjoy a full-day outdoor, group climbing experience with our highly trained and AMGA certified instructors/guides. Whether your looking for a first time Intro/Sport Climbing experience or an entry point to Trad & Multi-Pitch, we have a number of options, dates, and location from which to choose.

Meet Our Guides!