PRICE

$995 (advanced) 2:1 ratio

SCHEDULE

Inquire for private climb dates

DETAILS

Grade: Advanced
3 Day Climb

 

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OVERVIEW

Mount Baker’s classic North Ridge represents the next challenge for those interested in honing their alpine skills on more advanced glaciated terrain. This alpine route is truly one of the best moderate “big mountain” alpine snow and ice climbs in the Lower 48 states.

Mount Baker North Ridge • 3 Day Ascent

Previous climbing experience and advanced alpine climbing skills are required for this climb. We approach the North Side of Mount Baker, the North Cascade’s highest volcano, via the Heliotrope Ridge trail, the same trail which takes us to the Coleman Deming ascent. After traversing the Coleman Glacier to the North Ridge, we climb several pitches of 60 to 70 degree alpine ice up the large exposed ice cliff before reaching the upper mountain. This spectacular climb offers dramatic views down to the Roosevelt and Coleman glaciers, followed by a final push up steep snow slopes to Mount Baker’s massive summit, providing climbers a rewarding alpine experience. 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.

Coleman Glacier / Northside

  • Approach Time to Camp: 5-6 hours
  • Distance: 3.5 miles, 3300 ft. gain
  • Trailhead: Heliotrope Ridge, 3500 ft.
  • High Camp: 6800 ft.
  • Camp to Summit: 8-10 hours, 4000 ft. gain
  • 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 steep moraine we and arrive at the Hogsback Camp between 6000 ft. and 6200 feet. Our route then traverses the Coleman Glacier to a bivy site at 6,800 feet.

Climb Highlights

  • Enjoy a Northwest Alpine Guides adventure on glaciers and summit a classic Pacific Northwest volcano.
  • Ascend Mount Baker’s North Ridge route and climb steep alpine snow and ice to the mountains spectacular summit.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1 • Hike to High Camp
Day 2 • Summit Day
Day 3 • Hike to Trailhead

2 to 1 Climber to Guide Ratio

We lead the Mount Baker North Ridge at a 2 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

Climb begins and ends in Mount Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest

Plan to arrive the day before the climb begins.

Day 1 • Hike to High Camp • 6,800 feet

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 Heliotrope Ridge trailhead at 3,500 feet takes approximately two hours, reaching the North Side of the mountain.

The hike to high camp takes 4 to 5 hours. After ascending to Hogsback camp at 6000 feet, our route traverses the Coleman Glacier to a bivy site at 6,800 feet. We gain 3300 feet from the trailhead to high camp.

Accommodations: Tented Camp

Day 2 • Summit Day via Northridge • 10,781 feet

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 (60-70 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 gain 4000 feet from high camp to the summit.

After enjoying summit views from Mount Baker’s highest point and celebrating our success we descend the Coleman Deming route to Hogsback camp near the toe of the Coleman Glacier.

Accommodations: Tented Camp

Day 3 • Hike to Trailhead

After breakfast, we 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.

We usually arrive back to the trailhead by mid-afternoon and conclude our adventure in Sedro Woolley.

Plan to depart the day after the climb 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
  • Boiled water for meals
  • Professional mountain guide
  • Group equipment (including tents, ropes, stoves, etc.)
  • Wilderness Permits

Price Does Not Include

  • Transportation
  • Trailhead parking fees (NW Forest Pass)
  • Meals 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 3-Day Climb, you will need to provide all your own meals while on the mountain including (2) breakfasts, (3) lunch & snacks, (2) dinners. Northwest Alpine Guides will provide the group with hot water during breakfasts and dinners.

Meal Schedule

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

Day 2: Alpine Breakfast, Lunch & snacks for climb to summit, Dinner
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 3: Breakfast, Remaining lunch & snacks for the descent to trailhead

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.

Mountain Breakfasts and Dinners

Here is a list of suggested meal ideas for you to prepare prior to the climb.

Breakfast: Instant Oatmeal, Pop Tarts, Fruit and Granola Bars, Bagels, Peanut Butter, Cream Cheese

Dinner: Freeze-dried dinners are easy to prepare but do not always taste good, and may effect your stomach. Instant noodle soups and rice are also popular. You may also consider bringing a cold meal such as dried meats, bread, pizza, or sandwiches.

Hot Drinks: Coffee, Caffeinated Tea, Herbal Tea, Cocoa, Cider

Cold water is available for drinking and filling water bottles. Hot water (boiled water) will be provided for your meals (for freeze-dried dinners, instant soups, instant oatmeal, etc) and hot drinks.

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

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.