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. Baker route map
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.
• 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.
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.
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.
Guided climb and instruction
Scheduled meals on the mountain (breakfast, dinner, hot drinks)
Professional mountain guide
Group equipment (including tents, ropes, stoves, etc.)
Services not included
Trailhead parking fees (NW Forest Pass)
Lunch and snack food
Hotels or lodging
Trip cancellation insurance
Medical and evacuation coverage