2/3-day • Easton Glacier or Coleman/Deming Glacier – $825
2-day • Coleman/Deming Glacier – $625
3-day • Northridge – $995 (advanced) 2:1 ratio
At 10,781 feet Mount Baker is one of the most picturesque mountains in all the Cascade Range. The mountain renders the second largest glacial system in the lower 48 States second only to that of Mount Rainier. In 1998 Mt. Baker’s annual snowfall amounted to 95 feet exceeding the world record previously held on Mount Rainier since the 1970’s. Mount Baker is the third-highest mountain in Washington State and the fifth-highest in the Cascade Range. The mountain presents a fantastic objective for those seeking a challenging climb in a pristine alpine environment.
We guide two different standard routes on Mount Baker, the Coleman Deming Glacier on the Northside of the peak and the Easton Glacier on its 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. In addition, NWAG offers the North Ridge for advanced climbers seeking a more technical and challenging route.
On the Easton Southside we meet at the Ranger Station in the town of Sedro-Woolley. On the Colman Deming Northside, after meeting in Sedro-Woolley, we drive to the small town of Glacier, Washington. Our guides will introduction the team and check equipment before heading to the trailhead. Depending on the route, a 3 to 5 hour hike reaches our scenic high camp at the 5,000-6,000 foot level. Our camp is located at the base of the glacier and the evening is spent setting up camp, covering basic mountaineering skills and eating an early dinner before bedtime all while enjoying the Cascade’s alpenglow. On Summit Day! we get a pre-dawn start and your guide will lead the way up the glacier by headlamp attached to his climbing helmet. We slowly make our way up the glacier bypassing and end running crevasses and ascend the “Roman Wall” finally reaching the summit plateau. As we crest the last summit mount, Baker’s ash crater and the full breath and beauty of the North Cascades come into view, Mount Shuksan as well as Glacier Peak in the distance are most notable. After our summit attempt we descend back down the mountain to our high camp. On the final day we hike out and grab a bite to eat to conclude our adventure.
The Easton Glacier route is climbed in three days which gives us more time on the mountain to refine basic mountaineering skills. The approach to the Easton Glacier begins in meadows and eventually ends up in dense old growth forest, then high alpine meadows before we reach the snow. Our high camp is in a wonderful location between the 5000-6000 foot level at the toe of the glacier. The southern approach offers a more gradual glacial ascent before reaching Sherman Crater and climbing the Roman Wall. We have the option to climb on the second day if we are feeling well and the weather looks good, otherwise we train more on day two and go for the top on our final day.
The North side Coleman Deming Glacier route can be done as a two or three day climb. Like the Easton Glacier route we have the option of climbing on the second day. The northern route offers a slightly shorter hike to high camp with less elevation gain compared to the southern approach. High camp is located above the Hogsback Ridge at 5500 feet. The shorter approach makes summit day a bit longer and steeper. The route ascends glacier until reaching Colfax Col between the Black Buttes and Mount Baker’s Roman Wall. Both routes are thought to be of equal length, elevation gain and difficulty.
With either route, when summiting on day two, arriving back at high camp before late afternoon, we break camp and return to the trailhead the same day. Concluding the climb in two days.
Which route and how many days is best for me?
Our three day option 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. The three day climb also allows more time to summit should we encounter inclement weather or a slower ascent or descent is needed. For those who are considering climbing the North side Coleman Deming Glacier route as a two-day option, stronger hiking and backpacking skills are required. The two day climb is best suited for those with previous climbing experience or a higher level of fitness as you are expected to keep a swifter guided pace.
We are proud to work with the Department of Agriculture, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and Mt. Baker Ranger District where we are authorized outfitter guides.
Related climbs: Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, Mount Shuksan, Mount Olympus, Sahale Peak, Eldorado Peak, Forbidden Peak, Ruth Mountain, Mount Deception, North Cascade Classic Climbs, Snoqualmie Alpine Rock
Previous experience and advanced alpine climbing skills are required for this climb. Guided 2:1 ratio
Day 2 • Summit Day via Northridge • 10,781ft
The day begins with an alpine start. Our route travels up the right-center of the Coleman Glacier, weaving around large crevasses to the toe of the North Ridge. The standard start crosses a double bergshrund and then goes up a broad gulley feature of 40 degree snow. Straightforward glacier travel on the central ridge section steepens into ice slopes that lead up to the base of the prominent ice cliff spanning the bulk of the north face. As the angles steepen we’ll start belaying and then climb, in a classic and exposed position, directly up the ice cliff in a few short pitches (60-80 degrees). Beyond this it’s more glacier travel, some short and steep traverses, and the final summit plateau. Depending on conditions and the pace of the group, it takes from 9 to 12 hours to reach the top. Gorgeous views of the Cascades reward you as you stand on the summit of the North Cascade’s highest volcano.
We descend via the Coleman-Deming route which takes us down the Roman Wall to the west and to the saddle between the Black Buttes and Baker’s summit. A descending traverse of the Coleman Glacier quickly takes us back to the lower mountain and on to base camp where we can relax and enjoy the evening alpenglow.
Do you want to learn mountaineering? Mount Baker can be guided as a four day Intro to Mountaineering Course or five day Mountaineering Course. Taking a mountaineering course will help prepare you for the challenges of climbing higher peaks. NWAG courses allow for further instruction of climbing and mountaineering skills. Including step kicking, ice axe techniques, self-arrest, crampon usage, glacier travel, crevasse rescue and rope techniques. We also offer a one day snow climbing school at Snoqualmie Pass, and an Intro to Alpine Rock course at Snoqualmie Pass.
Learn to travel safely in the backcountry with our ski touring and avalanche education courses. Or if you’re ready for the challenge of the big mountains, we offer ski descents and tours on many of the Pacific Northwest classic peaks. Mount Baker, Shuksan and Snoqualmie Pass to name a few. Backcountry and Avalanche education, Classic Ski Descents and Tours
In addition to our Pacific Northwest climbs we offer international climbing & trekking expeditions through Mountain Gurus. The Ecuador Volcanoes, Elbrus in Russia and the Mexican Volcanoes are all really good next steps for those seeking to climb higher peaks and gain altitude experience internationally.
Climbs begins and ends in Mount Baker National Forest
Plan to arrive the day before the climb begins.
Day 1 • Hike to High Camp
Start time and location to be determined. Gear check and drive to the trailhead. Hike to high camp and basic climb school.
Day 2 • Summit Day • Mount Baker • 10,781ft
Summit day starts early. From high camp, we climb moderate snowfields to the saddle between Colfax Peak (9000′) or Sherman Crater (9600′) depending on the route. Both routes ascend the final Roman Wall steeply to Baker’s expansive summit. Descend to camp. When summiting on day two, we pack out and conclude the climb in two days.
Day 3 • Hike to Trailhead
After breakfast 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
Program start time & location: 8:00 am
Start time and location to be determined. We often meet in Sedro-Woolley, WA for gear check prior to driving to the trailhead.
Deposit and Payments
$500.00 deposit includes reservation fee, due with application
Balance due 90 days prior to departure
Boiled water for meals
Professional mountain guide
All group equipment (including tents, stoves, pickets, ropes)
Services not included
Trailhead parking pass fees
Meals and snack food
Hotels or lodging
Trip cancellation insurance
Medical and evacuation coverage
A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your trip will be sent to you in the PreClimb 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.
Click on the camera icon below to view a sample gear item.
Head and Face:
**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.**
**Proper hard shell rain gear is required on all NWAG trips. Gaiters are optional on mid and late summer climbs.**
**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.**
**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.).**
Personal Health and First Aid
Previous mountaineering experience is not required on most Northwest trips. Our guides will teach you the basic snow and glacier travel skills necessary to make a safe and successful climb. Although above average physical conditioning is required for most mountain climbs in the Cascades. Prior hiking, backpacking or climbing experience is very beneficial. High altitude experience is not required.
Most trips in the Pacific Northwest are rated as strenuous and we cannot over emphasize the importance of conditioning. By getting your heart, lungs, and legs in top physical condition, you can focus on learning, while being able to enjoy the high mountain environment. It is recommended that you have some hiking and backpacking (camping) experience prior to this trip. All participants are required to carry a share of the group food and equipment which includes tents, stoves, pickets, ropes. Be prepared to carry a 40 to 60 lbs backpack to high camp depending on the climb or course you choose.
The mountains of the Cascades Range are physically demanding and your ability to enjoy this adventure depends on your overall health and fitness.
It is often stated. The best training for mountain climbing is hiking, backpacking or climbing with considerable elevation gain (2000 vertical feet or more). Few other fitness activities truly replicate the physical demands of climbing steep mountains with a backpack.
We suggest you begin your training program at least four months prior to departure depending on your current conditioning. Walking up steep hills and stair climbing are both excellent ways to condition your lower body. Begin slowly, without the weight of a pack, eventually adding weight as you increase your training pace. In order to condition yourself to carry the weight, it will be important to take long hikes (4-6 hours) with a weighted pack at least one or two times a week. The best training for mountaineering is to carry a loaded pack up and down hills or small mountains. Hike uphill without breaks for at least an hour at a time when possible. Then break 10-15 minutes at the most and then continue hiking uphill for at least another hour. Do this as much and as often as you can. This is certainly not the only way to train but is probably one of the best ways to train for climbing big mountains. Don’t worry about your pace, this will increase over time, instead hike uphill slower if needed without taking as many breaks. Work at maintaining an even respiratory rate.
Unfortunately, many of you don’t live near good hills or mountains so then you will need to find another activity that will help increase your endurance. Supplement this with running, cycling, swimming, cross-fit sports, weight training, etc. for additional aerobic conditioning your heart and lungs. Any time spent at altitude will also prove beneficial. Remember mountain climbing (unlike running) is an activity where you slowly climb uphill over long periods of time while carrying heavy to a moderate amount of weight.