Of the ten or so non-volcanic 9000-foot peaks in Washington, Mount Buckner is one of the more accessible and easiest summits to climb. It is located east of Cascade Pass, a popular destination with a good trail that continues to nearby Sahale Arm. From there, experienced scramblers can descend to Horseshoe Basin and then climb the relatively straightforward southwest slopes of the mountain. Or, one could enter Horseshoe Basin from below, either via directly from Stehekin, or over Cascade Pass and then loosing 1800 feet. In addition, the North Face of Buckner has become one of the best-known ice climbs in the North Cascades and sees a fair number of ascents--the approach for that route is via the vast Boston Glacier. Based on the summit register, about 10 parties a year total summit this peak.
Buckner has two summits separated by a half-hour class-3 ridge traverse. The broader NE peak is marked as 9112 feet, but the sharper SW peak, a closed contour between 9080-9120 feet, is more or less equal in height. Published estimates tend to favor the SW peak: Fred Beckey says its 2 feet higher, Paul Klenke on Summitpost.com says its about 5 feet higher, and Edward Earl did some mathematical analysis of a photograph to determine that the SW peak is probably higher, but by less than a foot. The register is on the SW peak, which is more accessible from the standard SW slopes route, so many climbers do not visit the NE peak. However, Washington climbing guru John Roper feels that both summits must be tagged to fully claim as ascent of Buckner.