425.749.7421

Mount Baker Intro Mountaineering • Guided ascent

Easton Glacier • Colman Deming Glacier • Cascade Volcano

Details

Length:

3 days

Climbing Season:

Summer

Climbing Grade:

Cost

$920

Climbing Grade: Advanced

This climb requires a high level of climbing proficiency on steep, exposed and technical terrain above 8000 meters. Class 5.6 rock climbing is required. Excellent physical conditioning is requisite for this expedition. Climbers must provide climbing resume including high altitude experience.

Climbing Grade: Advanced Intermediate

This climb requires a high level of climbing proficiency on steep, exposed and technical terrain at high altitude. Class 4 ice or 5.8 rock climbing is required. Excellent physical conditioning is requisite for this expedition. Climbers must provide climbing resume including high altitude experience.

Climbing Grade: Intermediate

This climb requires snow and ice climbing skills with proficiency on steep and icy terrain. Strong backpacking and excellent physical conditioning is requisite for this expedition. Prior climbing experience is required. High altitude experience is beneficial.

Climbing Grade: Advanced Beginner

Prior climbing experience is beneficial. Basic snow and ice climbing skills are introduced during the program. Above average physical conditioning is requisite for this climb. No high altitude experience is required.

Climbing Grade: Beginner

No prior climbing experience is required. Strong hiking skills and good physical conditioning are requisite.

Trekking Grade: Easy

No experience required.

Trekking Grade: Moderate

This trek requires 4-6 hours of hiking per day with a small pack. Elevation gains of 1000-2000 feet per day. Strong hiking skills and good physical conditioning are requisite.

Trekking Grade: Strenuous

This trek requires 6-8 hours of hiking per day with a small pack. Elevation gains of 2000-3000 feet per day. Strong hiking skills and great physical conditioning are requisite.

If you have further questions about our climbing or trekking grades; or about your qualifications for a particular expedition, trek, climb or course, please contact us.

Visit our NW Alpine Guides site for more information on our Northwest summit climbs and mountaineering courses. www.northwestalpineguides.com

Mount Baker Intro Mountaineering • 3 day ascent

Our Mount Baker ascent and introduction to mountaineering school provides the opportunity to learn the fundamental climbing skills needed to climb the mountain successfully with a guide. The course is designed for first-time climbers, or for those seeking to refresh their climbing skills. Mount Baker’s easy access to glaciated terrain, remote wilderness setting and big mountain appeal all make it a superb choice to discover mountaineering and ascend a large glaciated peak.

NW Alpine Guides will choose one of two standard routes on Mount Baker depending on mountain conditions at the time of the climb to ensure you the best chance of success. We climb either the Coleman Deming Glacier on the Northside of the mountain or the Easton Glacier route on the peaks Southern flanks. Both routes are considered similar in length, elevation gain and difficulty and offer a great introduction to roped glacier travel and basic mountaineering. Our professional guides will introduce and teach you the skills necessary to make a safe and successful climb.

All our courses provide breakfast, dinner and hot drinks on the mountain. We meet in Sedro Woolley for equipment check the morning of the course and make our way to the trail head and high camp the same day. Day two is dedicated to learning intro mountaineering skills, on day three we make our summit climb, descend to camp and return to the trail head.

NW Alpine Guides is an authorized outfitter guide within Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and Mt. Baker Ranger District.

How many days is best for me?

Our three-day mountaineering school and summit climb is designed for beginner climbers or for those without previous experience using ice axe and crampons on glaciated terrain. You will simply have more time for learning the skills needed to climb Mount Baker safely with a mountain guide. For those considering climbing Mount Baker as a two-day option, stronger hiking and backpacking skills are required. A one-hour skills refresh will be taught after arriving at high camp. Our two-day climb is best suited for those with previous climbing experience or a high level of athletic fitness and climbers able to learn skills quickly. You will be expected to keep a swifter guided pace.

Intro Mountaineering School Curriculum

• Rest step, step kicking and pressure breathing
• Ice axe techniques and self arrest training
• Crampon usage and techniques
• Snow travel, climbing as a rope team
• Introduction to snow anchors
• Basic climbing knots
• Leave no trace skills
• Summit climb of Mount Baker
• Discussion topics will include: Clothing and equipment, packing a backpack, mountain weather, acclimatization, route finding and navigation, glacial fundamentals, snow camp skills. Our professional guides will follow the above curriculum, introducing the basic mountaineering skills necessary to make a successful summit climb.

Related courses: Intro MountaineeringAlpine SkillsGlacier MountaineeringIntro to Alpine RockIntro to Ice Climbing

Climbs begins and ends in Mount Baker National Forest

Plan to arrive the day before the climb begins.

Day 1 • Hike to High Camp
Gear check and drive to the trailhead. Hike to high camp. (B, D)

Day 2 • Intro to Mountaineering School
Today is dedicated to learning the fundamentals of mountaineering. The course instruction includes snow climbing, use of ice axe and self-rescue, crampon techniques, snow travel and basic introduction on knots and anchors. Throughout the program guides will host discussions on numerous mountaineering topics. (B, D)

Day 3 • Summit Day • Mount Baker • 10,781 feet
Summit day starts early. From high camp, we climb moderate snowfields to the saddle between Sherman Crater (9600′) or Colfax Peak (9000′) depending on the route. Both routes ascend the final Roman Wall steeply to Baker’s expansive summit. After returning to high camp we pack our gear and return to the trailhead.

Plan to depart the day after the climb ends.

Itinerary Notes
NWAG makes every effort to uphold the scheduled itinerary, although our guides are given discretion to adapt the itinerary for reasons beyond our control or due to the needs of the group. Meal schedule: (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner

Where to Meet
8:00 am, the morning of the climb, we meet in Sedro Woolley for equipment check before heading to the trailhead.
We will email you PreClimb info including gear list and departure details upon registration.


Registration and Payments
$500.00 deposit includes a $200.00 non-refundable registration fee, due with application.
Balance due 90 days prior to start date. Please read NW Alpine Guides Reservation/Refund Policy for details.


Services included
Guided climb and instruction
Scheduled meals on the mountain (breakfast, dinner, hot drinks)
Professional mountain guide
Group equipment (including tents, ropes, stoves, etc.)
Wilderness Permits


Services not included
Transportation
Trailhead parking fees (NW Forest Pass)
Lunch and snack food
Personal gear
Hotels or lodging
Trip cancellation insurance
Medical and evacuation coverage
Staff gratuities

A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your trip will be sent to you in the pre-departure information upon reservation. For your safety and comfort it’s extremely important that you adhere strictly to the equipment list.

Please click to see our gear rental items. We have a full selection of mountain gear and clothing items for rent.

camera20 Click on the camera icon below to view a sample gear item.

Head and Face:

  • Warm Hat: Wool/ synthetic, One that covers the ears.
  • Balaclava, Buff or Neck Gaiter
  • Sun Hat or Baseball Cap
  • Glacier Glasses: Essential eye protection at altitude. Wrap around style or side shields. camera20
  • Sunscreen: SPF 30+
  • Lip Balm: SPF 30+
  • Climbing Headlamp: Bring plenty of batteries. camera20

Upper Body:

  • Upper Body Layers: We recommend you have three warm layers for the upper body. Items must be made of synthetic or pile. Make sure all layers fit comfortably over each other and supply good insulation. A good combination is a long underwear top, a sweater, and a pile jacket. Cotton items do not provide adequate insulation and are completely useless when damp.
  • Softshell Jacket and/or Fleece Pullover: This breathable but wind-and-weather resistant jacket is a key part of a mountaineering layering system. Medium weight synthetic, form-fitting, for use over base layers. Hoods are highly recommended.
  • Baselayer Tops: One synthetic short-sleeve shirt. One synthetic long-sleeve shirt for summit day is required. Lighter colors absorb less sunlight which can be nice on sunnier days.
  • Hardshell Jacket w/ hood: Snow and high wind can be common. GORE-TEX© or a fully waterproof nylon shell that has been “seam sealed”.
  • Insulated Jacket w/ insulated hood: 700+ fill down. camera20

**An expedition down parka w/ hood is required for Mount Rainier. A mid-weight insulated parka is required for Mount Baker and climbs and courses in North Cascades NP, Mount Olympus. Proper hard shell rain gear is required on all NWAG trips.**

Handwear: camera20

  • Lightweight synthetic (fleece) Gloves: One pair (WINDSTOPPER© is recommended)
  • Softshell Gloves: One pair, Leather construction offers durability and grip on ropes and other gear.

Lower Body:

  • Quick dry Hiking Shorts: One pair. Good for hiking at lower elevations on the mountain (summer only).
  • Baselayer Bottom: One pair. Synthetic, no cotton
  • Hardshell Pants: Bring a good pair of rain/wind pants of GORE-TEX© or a fully waterproof nylon shell that has been “seam sealed”. (full-length side zips are required; you may need to take off your hard shell pants without removing your boots). camera20
  • Softshell Climbing Pants: Synthetic, stretchy, non-insulated, comfortable to climb in and provide good warmth on cool misty days, dry fast and prevent sunburn. Schoeller© fabric is recommended.
  • Gaiters: Full-sized waterproof gaiters that must fit snugly over your mountaineering boots. camera20

**Proper hard shell rain gear is required on all NWAG trips. Gaiters are optional on mid and late summer climbs.**

Footwear:

  • Double Plastic Climbing Boots or Leather/ Synthetic/ Hybrid Mountaineering Boots (full shank and crampon compatible) camera20
  • Medium to Heavyweight Socks: Two or three pair of wool or synthetic socks to wear for warmth with climbing boots.

**Read our Mountaineering Boot and Crampon guide for more information. Double plastic mountaineering boots or Heavy-weight synthetic/ hybrid mountaineering boots are required for Mount Rainier and early season Mount Baker and North Cascades NP climbs and courses. Single-weight synthetic/ leather mountaineering boots are adequate for mid and late summer climbs and courses on Mount Baker, North Cascades NP, Mount Olympus. NO Backpacking boots allowed on any trips, boots must be full shank and crampon compatible.**

Sleeping:

  • Sleeping Bag: Bring a warm bag (rated 0 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit depending on season). camera20
  • Sleeping Pad: One full-length closed-cell foam pad and/ or an inflatable pad. camera20

Packing and Backpack: camera20

  • Backpack: One lightweight large size 70-80 liters (4500-5500 cubic inches) comfortable pack with good support, adequate to carry personal and group gear. The pack should fit properly and have a good waist belt. Carry gear between 45 and 65 pounds.
  • Bags: large plastic bag, large Ziploc bag or waterproof stuff sacks

**An adequate size backpack is required depending on the climb or course you’ve joined. You are responsible to carry all your personal gear and food, as well as a portion of group gear (tents, ropes, stoves, fuel, etc.).**

Climbing Gear: camera20

  • Ice axe with leash: 60-70cm mountaineering axe camera20
  • Crampons: 12-point steel with anti-balling plates camera20
  • Climbing Helmet: Lightweight camera20
  • Alpine Climbing Harness w/ adjustable leg loops  camera20
  • Trekking Poles: Adjustable and collapsible w/ snow baskets camera20
  • Carabiners Locking: Two large pear-shaped, screw gate camera20

Drinking:

  • Water Bottle: Two, one liter wide-mouth plastic bottles. NALGENE© camera20
  • Water Treatment: We recommend you bring one bottle of “Potable Aqua” or a “Polar Pure”, crystal iodine in a bottle, to treat drinking water, optional
  • Water Flavoring: Lemonade, Tang, Gatoraid, optional

Personal Health and First Aid

  • Small personal first-aid kit and medications
  • Plastic bowl, insulated mug, and spoon
  • Camera
  • Toilet paper, Blue bag, or Wag bag

Travel Information

Northwest Climbs and Courses

Flight Travel Information: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)

Our itineraries reflect the date and time the program begins at a particular location. When flying to Washington State you’ll likely need to arrive the day before the climb begins in order to meet the group at the program start location. In regards to your departure flight, our return time to the program start location is often unpredictable. We suggest a hotel reservation for the night of the last day and plan to return home the day after the end of the program.

Gear: A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your program will be sent to you in the pre-departure packet upon reservation. For your safety and comfort it is extremely important that you adhere strictly to the equipment list.

Rental Gear: Rental items are to be reserved and paid in advance. Rental fee is for the duration of the program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Even the most experienced climbers have questions and if this is your first time on an Expedition, Trek or Northwest Climb you’re sure to have them. We provide information about such things as travel dates, itineraries and required equipment throughout our website. However, if you can’t find the answers you seek anywhere else, we try to provide them here!

Travel & Insurance

When do I need to arrive and depart?

International Departures: Our itineraries reflect the date and time you’ll need to arrive in country for a particular program. Mountain Gurus programs begin and end in the countries, destination city. When booking your flight you’ll need to account for travel time and crossing the international dateline if needed. It’s easiest to give your booking agent the day and time you’ll need to arrive.

Domestic Departures: Regarding Northwest programs our itineraries reflect the date and time the program begins at a particular start location (North Cascades NP, Olympic NP, etc.). When flying to Washington State you’ll likely need to arrive the day before the climb begins in order to meet the group at the program start location. In regards to your departure flight, our return time to the program start location is often unpredictable. We suggest a hotel reservation for the night of the last day and plan to return home the day after the end of the program.

What if I want to arrive early or depart later than the program? Mountain Gurus can assist in arranging accommodations before or after the program. Our Operations Director can recommend things to do if you desire.

Will a Mountain Gurus agent greet me at the airport? For International programs depending on your arrival time, we coordinate ground transportation. We either greet you at the airport or arrange transportation to your hotel. In most cases the program formally begins the morning after arrival day.

Do you recommend trip cancellation insurance? Mountain Gurus highly recommends purchasing of trip cancellation and travel insurance. This comprehensive travel insurance provides coverage for trip cancellation and interruption, travel delays, loss of baggage and travel documents, baggage delays, medical expenses and emergency assistance.

Do I need any other insurance? Make sure you provide yourself adequate traveler’s medical and evacuation insurance for coverage should you have a problem during the trip.

Should I have concerns when traveling internationally? We recommend registering with the United States Department of State when traveling anywhere internationally. Registration is voluntary and is your sole responsibility. Also, the United States Department of State maintains a travel Warning/Alerts list for most countries around the world. www.travel.state.gov

Experience and Fitness

What are climbing and trekking grades? Mountain Gurus provides climbing and trekking grades to help our client choose which programs are best suited for their experience level, knowledge of climbing and overall physical conditioning. Mountain travel can be extremely challenging yet profoundly rewarding. We offer programs of various skill levels and difficulty. Regardless which program you choose we expect our clients to be physically and mentally prepared for the demands of the journey.

Can anyone participate on your MG programs? We feel that anyone in reasonably good physical fitness should be able to join us on many of our programs. Mountain Gurus guides will introduce basic trekking and climbing skills needed during the course of the program. Remember your ability to participate in the program is largely dependent upon your overall health and fitness. An expedition, trek or climb shouldn’t be taken lightly and we encourage you to prepare for it by physically conditioning yourself for the strenuous aspects of the program. We strongly advise anyone who is considering a climb with Mountain Gurus, who may have a medical condition or medical history that may affect their performance, first consult with their physician. If you have further questions or concerns please contact us and our Operations Director can discuss which program is best suited for you.

Domestic & International Programs

How can I find out about necessary visas or entry requirements for the country I am visiting? Mountain Gurus will send you all necessary visa information contained within our pre-departure package. In most case American citizens can obtain a visa upon arrival. It is your responsibility to send in all pre-required visa applications and associated fees. In addition most countries maintain websites that provide all necessary information and application forms.

How can I find about necessary immunizations for the area where I am traveling? As part of your itinerary, we’ll provide you with current recommended/required immunizations for the country where you are traveling. You can always consult the Center for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov

Can I hire an additional porter? On International programs Mountain Gurus can arrange hire of a personal porter if desired for an additional cost. Please notify MG in advance if you’re considering a personal porter.

Can additional gear or clothing be stored during the program duration? In most cases additional items can be stored at the hotel or with our ground operator.

What type of accommodations can I expect?

Hotels: During our stay in international destination cities you can expect to stay in high quality hotels. When available we opt to stay in smaller boutique style hotels that provide a friendly atmosphere and high quality experience.

Camping or Lodges: When camping we provide our clients with high quality mountaineering tents. Depending on the expedition or climb clients participate in setting up tents and help in establishing camp as well as participate in cooking. On Treks and Tours, Mountain Gurus provides our clients with a fully supported experience, your tent will be set up and waiting when you arrive in camp and you’ll be greeted with hot water and a cup of tea. Destinations like Nepal we often opt to stay in high quality lodges (also known as Tea Houses) as an alternative to camping. Due to our local knowledge we choose from the finest lodges available which provide great food and a friendly warm environment.

Do you provide single accommodations? International programs that include hotels, a single room supplement is available for an additional cost if desired. For those traveling alone who do not wish to pay an additional cost for a single room, we will pair you in a room with another same-sex team member. In the event another team member of the same sex is not available for room pairings, you will be assigned a single room. During Northwest climbs single tent accommodations are not available.

How heavy a pack do I need to carry?

On Northwest programs you will be required to carry a portion of the group gear and food, in addition to your personal gear. This should be taken into consideration when deciding what you should bring. Be prepared to carry between 40-65 lbs. depending on the length of the program and group size.

For International programs pack weight varies greatly depending on the type of program. On our fully supported Treks and Tours you will only be expected to carry a small to medium sized day pack with each trekking day’s necessary clothing and essentials. 15-30 lbs. Expeditions will be required to carry a portion of the group gear and food in addition to your personal gear. 40-65 lbs. On fully supported Expeditions we utilize high altitude climbing porters which greatly minimizes the need to carry group gear. 35-50 lbs.

Private and Custom Programs

I have a group of family/friends/colleagues and we have specific dates we would like to climb. Can you customize a program for us? All of our programs can be run on a private basis. The beauty of a private program is you climb what you want, with who you want, when you want. We’ll take care of the entire program. We are also able to provide you with a custom itinerary depending on your interests. We may require a $100 non-refundable deposit for custom program planning which will be applied towards your program cost at the time of reservation.

Equipment

Does Mountain Gurus rent equipment? We do provide rental gear on our Northwest programs. All rental gear is limited and needs to be reserved and paid in advance. See Northwest Climbs and Courses for details. Currently we do not rent any equipment for international programs. Also, many local climbing and outdoors stores rent gear for reasonable rates.

Rental items include: http://www.nwmountainguides.com/gear-rental/

Where should I buy equipment? We can help you find a local climbing and outdoor shop where you can purchase the equipment you’ll need.

General

Is it customary to tip your support staff or mountain guide? On international programs where we utilize support staff (porters, cooks, kitchen staff, etc.), it is Mountain Gurus practice to take a group tip and divide it among the support staff. Tipping of Mountain Guides for a job well done is always appreciated.

How can my family get in contact with me when I’m on a on a Mountain Gurus program? After your application and deposit are accepted, you will be provided with a detailed itinerary which will include hotel and ground outfitter contact information for your program. Due to the nature of the wilderness areas we travel it is likely you will be out of contact during the duration of the program. Telephone and internet access is available in some destinations at you own expense.

What if my spouse, family or friends don’t climb; can they still join me on safari? We would be delighted to make arrangements for non-trekking family and friends to join you after the climb. We suggest you extend your safari a few days to take advantage of Tanzania’s remarkable wildlife parks and diverse landscape.

Can my son or daughter join me on the program? What’s the minimum age requirement? Possibly, we would prefer to talk with you about the program you’re interested in and see if it’s an appropriate choice for someone under the age of 18. We accept participants 16 years or older on our regularly scheduled trips, accompanied by a legal guardian.