PRICE

$1325

SCHEDULE

May 24 – May 28, 2019
June 14 – June 18, 2019
July 5 – July 9, 2019
July 19 – July 23, 2019
August 2 – August 6, 2019
August 16 – August 20, 2019
August 31 – September 4, 2019
September 13 – September 17, 2019

DETAILS

Grade: Beginner
5 Day Course

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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OVERVIEW

Learn how to mountain climb on the second most glaciated peak in the lower 48 States. The emphasis of this course is on building glacier mountaineering skills as well as a summit climb of Mount Baker. The instruction is designed for climbers seeking to further their skills for larger peaks or to gain independence in a glaciated environment. During the school you will learn the fundamentals of glacier mountaineering, climbing on snow and crampon techniques, self arrest, traveling as a rope team, crevasse rescue, covering the essential climbing skills needed to travel safely in the mountains. Our glacier mountaineering course allows more time to develop advanced mountaineering skills, preparing aspiring climbers for expeditions to Denali, Aconcagua, or the Himalaya. Alternate course locations can be held on Mount Shuksan or Boston Basin in North Cascades NP.

Mount Baker Glacier Mountaineering • 5 Day Course

All our mountaineering courses provide breakfast, dinner and hot drinks on the mountain. We utilize the lightest high quality mountaineering tents, stoves and group equipment available to lessen pack weight. 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’s two and four are dedicated to learning glacier mountaineering skills, on day three we make our summit climb. Day five we return to the trailhead.

Or put it all together and combine our 5-day Glacier Mountaineering Course with our 2-day Introduction to Alpine Rock Course and discover what alpine climbing is really about.

Glacier Mountaineering School Curriculum

  • Rest step, step kicking and pressure breathing
  • Ice axe techniques and self arrest training
  • Crampon usage and techniques
  • Glacier travel, climbing as a rope team
  • Introduction to snow & ice anchors
  • Crevasse rescue and self extrication
  • Basic climbing knots & hitches
  • Ascending fixed lines
  • Belaying, rappelling, rope management
  • Introduction to ice climbing (late season courses only)
  • Leave no trace skills
  • Summit climb of Mount Baker
  • Discussion topics will include: Clothing and equipment, packing a backpack, mountain weather, glaciology, acclimatization, route finding, snow camp skills. Our professional guides will follow the above curriculum, introducing the basic mountaineering skills necessary to make a successful summit climb.

Climbing Routes

Easton Glacier / Southside

  • Approach Time to Camp: 4-5 hours
  • Distance: 3.5 miles, 2600 ft. gain
  • Trailhead: Schriebers Meadow, 3400 ft.
  • High Camp: 6000 ft.
  • Camp to Summit: 5-6 hours, 4800 ft. gain
  • Total Elevation Gain: 7,400 feet
  • High Camp to Summit to High Camp: 6 miles round trip, 9+ hours
  • Pack Weight: 50-55 lbs trailhead to high camp, 20-25 lbs high camp to summit
  • Trail synopsis: This well-maintained trail is longer than the Northside route but gains elevation more gradually. We start the hike in the river valley, crossing the Easton Glacier stream (Sulphur Creek) and proceed up several switchbacks to gain a meadow at 4500 feet. From here the trail ascends the “Railroad Grade” which is a glacial moraine at a moderate angle. In early season we often camp at 5600 ft. at protected camps near the trees. We continue up the moraines overlooking the lower Easton Glacier. This takes us right into Sandy Camp at around 6000 ft.

Coleman Deming Glacier / Northside

  • Approach Time to Camp: 3-4 hours
  • Distance: 2.5 miles, 2500 ft. gain
  • Trailhead: Heliotrope Ridge, 3500 ft.
  • High Camp: 6000 ft.
  • Camp to Summit: 5-6 hours, 4800 ft. gain
  • Total Elevation Gain: 7,300 feet
  • High Camp to Summit to High Camp: 6 miles round trip, 9+ hours
  • Pack Weight: 50-55 lbs trailhead to high camp, 20-25 lbs high camp to summit
  • Trail synopsis: From the parking area, the well-maintained trail gains elevation quickly, which makes this approach a bit shorter than the southside. After crossing Kulshan Creek at 2 miles (4500 ft.), we break through the trees, crossing another stream at 5400 feet, we climb the final steep moraine we and arrive at the Hogsback Camp between 6000 ft. and 6200 ft. Camp sites are scattered along the edge of the Coleman Glacier, and exact elevation and location will vary depending on water sources and other climbing parties.

Course Highlights

  • A full day of mountaineering skills in preparation for the climb.
  • The day is spent adjusting to the altitude, enjoying views of the North Cascades, and preparing for our summit bid.
  • An ascent and summit of Mount Baker.
  • A full day to develop advanced glacier mountaineering skills including anchors and crevasse rescue.
  • Enjoy a Northwest Alpine Guides adventure training on glaciers and climbing a classic volcano.
  • Small teams for a personalized experience, many of our courses are guided with a maximum of six climbers and two guides.
  • Breakfast, dinner and hot drinks are provided on the mountain.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1 • Hike to High Camp
Day 2 • Intro Mountaineering School
Day 3 • Summit Day
Day 4 • Glacier Mountaineering School
Day 5 • Hike to Trailhead

Qualifications

This climb is an entry level course and is suitable for climbers in great physical condition with no prior mountaineering experience. Two full days of mountaineering training is included in the program. No acclimatization is necessary for this program. Read our Goals and Fitness page for recommendations on how to best physically prepare for this adventure.

3 to 1 Climber to Guide Ratio

We lead the Mount Baker’s Easton Glacier or Coleman Deming Glacier summit attempt at a 3 to 1 climber to guide ratio ensuring that you receive personal attention and hands-on instruction throughout the climb.

Northwest Alpine Guides holds a Special Use Permit and is an authorized outfitter guide within Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and Mt. Baker Ranger District

“In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination: write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD).”

ITINERARY

Course begins and ends in Mount Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest

Plan to arrive the day before the course begins.

Day 1 • Hike to High Camp

Meet in Sedro Woolley, WA.

Northwest Alpine Guides will provide you with a detailed PreClimb departure book upon registration including personal gear list, meeting location and driving directions.

Our alpine guides will meet you for team introductions, gear check, and group gear distribution. The drive to Schreibers Meadow trailhead at 3,400 feet takes approximately one hour. The drive to Heliotrope Ridge trailhead at 3,500 feet takes approximately two hours.

The hike to high camp takes 4 to 5 hours. The team will set camp between 5,600 – 6,200 feet depending on the season, we prepare dinner and relax for the evening.

Accommodations: Tented Camp
Meals Included: Dinner (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, rope travel, and basic introduction on knots and anchors. Throughout the program guides will host discussions on numerous mountaineering topics.

Each team member will be assessed throughout the mountaineering school. You will need to demonstrate adequate fitness and proficiency in climbing skills as your safety is our priority.

After mountaineering training, we return to camp and prepare for our summit bid. The team enjoys dinner and early to bed for the next day’s climb.

Accommodations: Tented Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner (B, D)

Day 3 • Summit Day • Mount Baker • 10,781 feet

Our summit day starts early with a pre-dawn alpine start. From high camp, we climb moderate snowfields to the saddle between Sherman Crater at 9600 feet or Colfax Peak at 9000 feet depending on the route we choose. From here, it takes between one to two hours to reach the top. Both routes ascend the final Roman Wall steeply to Mount Baker’s expansive summit.

After enjoying summit views from Mount Baker’s highest point and celebrating our success we descend the route to high camp. During the afternoon guides will continue instruction as time warrants.

Accommodations: Tented Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner (B, D)

Day 4 • Glacier Mountaineering School

Today is dedicated to developing advanced glacier mountaineering skills, preparing aspiring climbers for expedition mountaineering. We continue building on the essential skills needed to climb higher peaks. Instruction includes snow protection, crevasse rescue, ascending fixed lines, belaying, rappelling, and rope management. Introduction to ice climbing is dependent on conditions in the field (typically for late season courses).

Accommodations: Tented Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner (B, D)

Day 5 • Hike to Trailhead

After enjoying breakfast, we wrap of skills training and break camp, pack our gear and retrace our hike back to the trailhead. We generally arrive back to the trailhead by early-afternoon and conclude our adventure in Sedro Woolley.

Meals Included: Breakfast (B)

Plan to depart the day after the course ends.

Itinerary Notes
Northwest Alpine Guides 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

DETAILS

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.

Deposit and Payments

$500.00 deposit per person includes a $200.00 non-refundable registration fee, due with application. Balance due 90 days prior to start date.

Price Includes

  • 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

Price Does Not Include

  • 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

Tipping

Our guides are dedicated to working hard to ensure your success and well-being on the mountain. If you have a positive experience, gratuities are an excellent way to show your appreciation. Tips normally average 10 – 20% of the cost of the program. If you prefer to transfer funds, please send gratuities through paypal.me/mountaingurus

Summit Attempt

Northwest Alpine Guides cannot guarantee that you will reach the summit. Weather, route conditions, your own abilities, or the abilities of other climbers may create circumstances that make an ascent unsafe, and you or your entire party may have to turn around without reaching the summit. Failure to reach the summit due to a person’s own lack of fitness or to any of the events associated with mountaineering (such as weather, route, avalanche hazard, team dynamics, etc.), are not NWAG responsibility and will not result in refund or reschedule.

Date Changes

Date changes may be requested at anytime up to 30 days prior to your departure date for a $100 fee per person. Date changes are subject to availability and apply only to the current climbing season. There are no date changes allowed less than 30 days before departure.

Age Guidelines

Participants age 16 & 17, on a fixed date group climb, and accompanied by parent or legal guardian.

Participants age 15 or under, NWAG requires a private climb, and accompanied by parent or legal guardian.

A minor climber must be accompanied by their parent/legal guardian throughout the entirety of the program. If either climber must descend at any time during the program, both climbers must descend together.

Travel Insurance

We highly recommend that all participants consider travel and trip cancellation insurance. Travel insurance offers the best possible protection in the event of a sudden, unexpected illness or injury prior to or while traveling. Northwest Alpine Guides does not insure you against these risks. For more info about current coverage plans and quotes please visit.

TripAssure

We recommend Assure Adventure Plans to cover travelers participating in climbing, skiing, mountaineering and trekking programs. Click here for a quote Reference code: MOUN0700WA

Adventure Plan and Adventure Plus Plan differ only in the coverage option which allows you to Cancel for Any Reason. In order to receive Cancel for Any Reason coverage you must purchase the Adventure Plan Plus within 15 days of paying your deposit or payment with NWAG.

Global Rescue

We recommend Signature Travel Insurance. For travel insurance or Global Rescue membership.
Click here for a quote

Cancellations

Since departures require a minimum number of participates, Northwest Alpine Guides must adhere to a stringent refund policy. The policy is intended to protect participants who have otherwise committed time and resources to the departure. Please read our Online Reservation for Terms and Conditions.

MEALS

During the Mount Baker Glacier Mountaineering 5-Day Course, Northwest Alpine Guides will provide group meals, (4) breakfasts and (4) dinners while on the mountain. You will need to provide your own lunch and snack food on the mountain.

Mountain Lunches

We recommend a variety of snack food for eating on the go, we do not stop for a big lunch break, we eat during short maintenance breaks throughout the day. The idea is to keep your energy level up for the climb eating small amounts about every hour or so.

Some examples of snack-lunch foods are dried meats (salami), jerky (turkey, beef, fish), tuna fish, cheese, crackers, bagels, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, candy bars, gummy candy, cookies, energy bars, GORP trail mix.

The importance of having foods that you like to eat cannot be overstated. Eating properly is the key to maintaining strength while in the mountains. A diet of sweet, sour and salty foods is recommended.

When preparing lunches, please do not bring food items that require cooking or extensive preparation.

Day 1: Lunch & snacks for hike from trailhead to high camp
Three or four 15-minute lunch & snack breaks

Day 2: Lunch & snacks for mountaineering school
8-hour training includes a 30-minute lunch break, two 15-minute snack breaks

Day 3: Lunch & snacks for climb to summit and descent
Four 15-minute snack breaks on the ascent from high camp to summit, two or three 15-minute snack breaks on the descent from summit to high camp

Day 4: Lunch & snacks for mountaineering school
8-hour training includes a 30-minute lunch break, two 15-minute snack breaks

Day 5: Remaining snacks for the descent to trailhead

Group Meals

Here is an example of meal items NWAG provides and our guides will prepare during group breakfasts and dinners.

Breakfast: Oatmeal, Pop Tarts, Bagels, Fruit and Granola Bars

Dinner: Chicken, Beef, Pasta, Noodles, Tortellini, Vegetables, Rice, Beans, Tasty Bites, Cheese, Freeze-Dried Food

Hot Drinks: Coffee, Caffeinated Tea, Herbal Tea

Meal Concerns

For those with special meal concerns we recommend bringing food to supplement the group meals we provide. We can accommodate most common food allergies within the meals we provide. We do not serve fish, shell fish, peanuts, tree nuts, milk or egg. In cases such as vegetarians, we are easily able to leave out the meat before serving pre-planned group meals.

Northwest Alpine Guides is unable to accommodate vegan, gluten-free, or other types of special meal concerns. You will be happier providing your own meals.

Contact us for questions.

TRAVEL

Getting There

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.

The town of Sedro Woolley is approximately 76 miles and an hour and thirty minute drive from Seattle or Bellevue depending on traffic. The small town of Sedro Woolley is referred as “The Gateway to the North Cascades”. The cities of Mount Vernon and Burlington offer more food and lodging than Sedro Woolley.

Bingham Park
Sedro Woolley, WA 98284
Click for location on Google maps

We meet at the picnic table under the trees, in view of the playground. Following the gear check you will have an opportunity to stop at a market for last minutes items.

Flight Travel

Most climbers will fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) the evening before the program and rent a car for the hour and forty-five minute drive to Sedro Woolley, Washington.

Northwest programs our itineraries reflect the date and time the program begins at a start location (Mount Baker, North Cascades National Park). When flying to Washington State you will need to arrive the day before the climb begins to meet the group at the program start location. With 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. If departing on the last day of the program, we recommend booking a flight later than 10pm.

Transportation

Group transportation is not included within the price of the trip. This includes transportation from the meeting location to the trailhead. Guides are not responsible to provide transportation to team members. We often have a mix of local and out of town customers on each Northwest climb or course. Climbers are free to rideshare with other team members at their own responsibility. Our office will forward your name and email to other team members if you give us permission to share your contact information indicating that you are interested in ridesharing. The NWAG office does not coordinate ridesharing/ carpooling. In some cases, a Northwest Alpine Guides staff member can provide limited transportation from Seattle or Bellevue to the trailhead as a fee service.

Trailhead Parking

You will need to obtain a NW Forest Service parking permit at the trailhead lot. Passes are $5.00 per day. They can be purchased in advance or the day of the gear check.

Driving Directions

From Seattle

Take I-5 North towards Burlington to Cook Road in Skagit County.
Take exit 232 from I-5 N

Turn right onto Cook Road, Head East to Sedro Woolley
Follow Cook Road to Bingham Park Loop in Sedro-Woolley, 7 min (4.3 mi)

At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit and stay on Cook Road
Turn left onto Bingham Park Loop

From Bellingham

Take I-5 South towards Burlington to Cook Road in Skagit County.
Take exit 232 from I-5 S
Follow Cook Road to Bingham Park Loop in Sedro-Woolley, 7 min (4.3 mi)

From Burlington

From State Highway 20 East, at the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit onto Cook Road (after the Walgreens)
Turn right onto Bingham Park Loop

Hotels

Lodging in Burlington and Sedro Woolley, Washington. For those who wish to lodge close to the meeting location the night before the climb, the following options are recommended.

Fairfield Inn & Suites Burlington
9384 Old Hwy 99 North
Burlington, WA 98233

Three Rivers Inn
210 Ball Street
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284

There are many hotel choices in Seattle, Bellevue and Issaquah.

Red Lion Hotel Bellevue
11211 Main Street
Bellevue, WA 98004

Motel 6 Seattle East Issaquah
1885 15th Pl NW
Issaquah, WA 98027

Mountain Weather

For updated North Cascades weather forecasts, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is mountaineering for you?

If you have never climbed before and are curious about climbing a big glaciated mountain, our Mount Baker introductory course and climb is a great way to experience mountaineering and decide if this adventure sport is right for you. Mountaineering is an intensely physical sport that requires stamina and endurance. A climb can be physically demanding, but once you reach the summit and look down at what you accomplished to stand there, it is an exhilarating experience.

If you have added climbing the Seven Summits to your bucket list, getting started with a glacier mountaineering course is a great way to build up skills to prepare you for this international adventure. Or if you just want to see if mountain climbing is for you, a Northwest Alpine Guides’ intro mountaineering course is a great way to learn and summit Mount Baker.

What skills will I learn?

No matter what your skill level – whether you have just developed an interest in mountaineering, have not used your skills in a while, or have mountaineering skills but are ready to take them to the next level. Our mountain guides can teach the skills you need. We offer instruction from basic to advanced alpine mountaineering skills in our climbing courses. We will help get you prepared for whatever climb you plan to attempt – from Mount Baker, Mount Rainier, to Mount Everest!

Northwest Alpine Guides offers a variety of courses for climbers of all levels and can customize the instruction to meet your specific needs. Our climbing instructors can also advise you on what clothing, gear, and equipment you need and have rental items available.

What about safety?

No matter if you have never climbed before, our instructors are prepared to help you learn mountaineering from the ground up. In addition to professional instruction in climbing skills, most importantly, you will learn skills that will keep you safe in the mountains. With an adventure sport like mountaineering, safety is paramount.

All our instructors have advanced avalanche training, wilderness medical training, and will instruct you how to be self-reliant in the mountains. Mountain climbing can be unpredictable – weather conditions can change in a moment and one wrong step can lead to an injury. Northwest Alpine Guides will instruct you how to climb safely and successfully.

Why choose Northwest Alpine Guides?

Mountain climbing is a combination of adventure, enjoying the outdoors and appreciating nature while challenging yourself physically and mentally. Our goal is to provide our customers with a rewarding personalized experience. Northwest Alpine Guides climbing courses can teach you the skills you need to climb safely and successfully.

Our mountain guide staff have decades of experience and have climbed the peaks of the Northwest hundreds of times, as well as many expeditions to the most challenging summits of the world including Mount Everest, Mount Kilimanjaro and Aconcagua. Our guides are both knowledgeable and personable and will ensure you enjoy the climbing experience as you advance your skills.

General FAQ’s

Click to read general Frequent Questions