PRICE

$995 (advanced) 2:1 ratio

SCHEDULE

Inquire for private climb dates

DETAILS

Grade: Advanced
3 Day Summit Climb

 

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OVERVIEW

Mount Baker’s classic North Ridge represents an excellent challenge for those who want to hone their alpine climbing skills on more advanced glaciated terrain. This route is truly one of the best moderate “big mountain” alpine snow and ice climbs in the Lower 48.

Mount Baker North Ridge • 3 Day Ascent

Previous climbing experience and advanced alpine climbing skills are required for this climb. The North Ridge rises our of the dramatic Coleman Glacier in a series of steep snow slopes and ice pitches directly to the summit plateau of the second most glaciated peak in the Contiguous United States.

We approach the route via the Heliotrope Ridge trail, the same trail that leads to the popular Coleman Deming Route. After traversing the Coleman Glacier, we climb steep snow onto the crest of the ridge. Then, with dramatic view of the Coleman and Roosevelt glaciers far below our heels, we climb several pitches of 60- to 70-degree alpine ice that end at the large, exposed ice cliffs just below the summit. We descend the Coleman Deming Route to the west, walking down the Roman Wall to the saddle between the Black Buttes and Baker’s summit, and then back to basecamp where we relax and enjoy the evening alpenglow.

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: 40-45 lbs. trailhead to high camp, 20-25 lbs. high camp to summit
  • Trail synopsis: From the parking area, a well-maintained trail gains elevation quickly making this approach slightly shorter than the southside approach. After crossing Kulshan Creek at 2 miles (4500 feet), we break out of the trees, cross another stream at 5400 feet, then climb a final steep moraine into Hogsback Camp. Camp sites are scattered between 6000 and 6200 feet along the edge of the Coleman Glacier. Exact elevation and location will vary depending on water sources and other climbing parties.

Need help choosing a trip?
Read our Four-Legged Stool blog post for tips on finding the right adventure for you.

Climb Highlights

  • Enjoy a Northwest Alpine Guides adventure and summit a classic, glaciated Pacific Northwest volcano.
  • Climb steep snow and alpine ice on Mount Baker’s spectacular North Ridge

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 Mount Baker’s North Ridge at a 2 to 1 climber to guide ratio to ensure 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

Mount Baker North Ridge

Plan to arrive the day before the climb begins.

Day 1 • Hike to High Camp • 6,000 feet

Meet at our Guide Hut 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 the Heliotrope Ridge Trailhead at 3,500 feet on the north side of the mountain takes approximately two hours.

The hike to high camp on the Hogsback at 6,000 feet takes 4 to 5 hours. After setting up our tents, we refresh the skills we will need for the climb, then eat dinner and go to bed early in preparation for our alpine start.

Vertical Gain Hiking: 2,500 feet
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours

Accommodations: Tented Camp
Meals Included: None

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

The day begins early with an alpine start. Our route ascends right of center on the Coleman Glacier, weaving around large crevasses to the toe of the North Ridge. The standard start crosses a double bergschrund and then ascends a broad, 40-degree snow gully to the crest of the ridge. Straightforward glacier travel on the central portion of the route yields to steepening ice slopes below a prominent ice cliff that spans the top of the north face. As the ice steepens, we set belays and climb in a classic and exposed position directly up the ice cliff in a few short, 60- to 70-degree pitches. Our route then winds between seracs and across several short, steep traverses onto the final summit plateau. From the summit of the North Cascades’ highest volcano, we are rewarded with gorgeous views of the Cascade Range in the U.S. and Canada. We celebrate our success then descend the Coleman Deming Route back to our camp near the toe of the Coleman Glacier.

Vertical Gain Climbing: 4,500 feet
Climbing Time: 10-14 hours

Accommodations: Tented Camp
Meals Included: None

Day 3 • Hike to Trailhead

After breakfast, we break camp, pack our gear and retrace our steps back to the trailhead. We generally arrive back at our cars by mid-afternoon and conclude our adventure in Sedro-Woolley.

Vertical Descent Hiking: 2,500 feet
Hiking Time: 2-3 hours

Meals Included: None

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

At 8:00 a.m. on the morning of the climb, we meet at the Guide Hut in Sedro-Woolley, WA for equipment check and orientation before heading to the trailhead. We will email you detailed PreClimb information including a gear list and full departure details upon receiving your registration.

Deposit and Payments

  • $300.00 deposit includes a $200.00 non-refundable registration fee, due with application.
  • Balance due 90 days prior to start date.
  • The balance can be paid by check, or credit card.

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 (Northwest Forest Pass)
  • Meals and snack food
  • Personal gear
  • Hotels or lodging
  • Trip cancellation insurance
  • Medical and evacuation coverage
  • Staff gratuities

Guides

Our instructors are highly skilled professional guides who have been selected based on their technical proficiency, proven safety records, careful judgment, patience, and supportive teaching styles. They are dedicated to a climbing lifestyle, and collectively have climbed throughout the earth’s major mountain ranges. Our guides are friendly, very willing to share their own experiences, and can help you develop a plan to achieve your own climbing ambitions. All our guides carry current certification in wilderness first aid.

Tipping

Our guides are dedicated mountain professionals who work hard to ensure your success and wellbeing on the mountain. If you have a positive experience, gratuities are an excellent way to show your appreciation. An average tip is 10 – 20% percent of the cost of the program, usually $100 – $200. Your guide team will pool all tips. If you prefer to transfer funds electronically, 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. You or your entire party may have to turn around without reaching the summit. Failure to reach the summit due to a team member’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.

Age Guidelines

Participants age 16 & 17: May participate in fixed-date group itineraries if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Participants age 15 and younger: May only participate in private climbs and must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

All minor climbers must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian throughout the entirety of the program. If either the minor climber or the guardian needs to descend at any time during the program, both climbers must descend together.

Minimum Participants

Please note that a minimum of two participants is required to guarantee each departure at the advertised price.

Travel Insurance

We highly recommend that all participants consider travel and trip cancellation insurance after making a deposit. Travel insurance offers the best protection in the event of a sudden, unexpected illness, an injury prior to or while traveling, or a possible family emergency.

If you choose not to purchase insurance, you assume full responsibility for any expenses incurred in the event of a medical emergency and/or evacuation, as well as for trip cancellation, interruption, lost luggage, etc. Northwest Alpine Guides does not insure you against these risks. We ask that you consult your travel insurance carrier directly with questions.

For more info about current coverage plans and quotes please visit.

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance

Travel, evacuation and rescue coverage designed for adventure travelers.

For a quote, or to purchase travel insurance, please click this link Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™

  • Waiv­er for pre-exist­ing con­di­tions (must be pur­chased with­in 14 days of trip deposit)
  • Option­al ​“Can­cel for Any Rea­son” cov­er­age (must be pur­chased with­in 14 days of trip deposit)

Global Rescue

We recommend Signature Travel Insurance. For travel insurance or Global Rescue membership.

For a quote, or to purchase travel insurance, please click this link Global Rescue

Date Changes

Date changes may be requested at any time up to 45 days prior to your departure date for a $100.00 fee per person. Date changes are subject to availability and apply only to the current climbing season. No date changes allowed less than 45 days before departure.

Cancellations

Since departures require a minimum number of participants, 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

You will need to provide all of your own meals during the Mount Baker North Ridge ClimbYou will need two (2) breakfasts, enough lunch and snack food for three (3) days, and two (2) dinners. Northwest Alpine Guides will provide the group with hot cooking water for breakfast and dinner. 

Meal Schedule

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

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. Dinner in high camp.

Day 3: Breakfast. Snack and lunch food for the descent to trailhead

Mountain Lunches

We recommend that you bring a variety of snack food to eat while moving. On each day, we will encourage you to eat at regular, short maintenance breaks, roughly once every hour. These snacks can be critical for maintaining a steady supply of energy while moving up and down the mountain. We will not stop for a big lunch break.

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

We cannot overstate how critical it is for you to bring foods that you enjoy eating. Eating properly is the key to maintaining strength in the mountains. We recommend a selection of sweet, sour and salty food.

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

Mountain Breakfasts and Dinners

Please prepare your meals prior to your climb. Suggested food items:

Alpine Breakfast: Instant oatmeal, Pop Tarts, dried fruit, granola bars, bagels, peanut butter, cream cheese.

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

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

Cold drinking water will be available in high camp. Hot, boiled cooking water will be provided for your meal preparation, for example for freeze-dried dinners, instant soups, instant oatmeal and hot drinks.

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

The Guide Hut offers a wide variety of freeze-dried meals for purchase, including vegan and gluten free options.

TRAVEL

Getting There

At 8:00 a.m. on the morning of the climb, we meet at the Guide Hut in Sedro-Woolley, WA for equipment check and orientation before heading to the trailhead. Upon receiving your registration, Northwest Alpine Guides will email you complete PreClimb information, including a gear list specific to your itinerary and other departure details. The Guide Hut offers a selection of mountaineering equipment and clothing for purchase and rent.

The small town of Sedro-Woolley, “The Gateway to the North Cascades,” is approximately 70 miles and a 1.5-hour drive from Seattle or Bellevue. Limited services are available in Sedro-Woolley. More extensive food, shopping and lodging options may be found nearby in the cities of Mount Vernon and Burlington.

The Guide Hut / Northwest Alpine Guides
305 F And S Grade Road
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284

Click here for directions
Additional parking can be found across the street in the Park & Ride lot.

The Guide Hut

The Guide Hut serves as a meeting location, rental shop and retail store for guests of Northwest Alpine Guides.

During open hours at the Guide Hut, you may pick up pre-reserved rental items, try on rental boots, and purchase last-minute items. The Guide Hut offers a selection of retail items including outdoor clothing, glacier sunglasses, gloves, water bottles, cups, bowls, spoons, sunscreen, waste kits, moleskin, batteries, sports food, freeze-dried meals, Northwest Alpine Guides logo wear, and a selection of climbing equipment, including carabiners, cord and other items. Please visit the online Gear Shop for a list of available merchandise and to pre-purchase items.

The Guide Hut exclusively serves Northwest Alpine Guides customers. It is not open to the public, and does not serve customers outside of scheduled operating hours.

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. Please note that Seattle traffic is worsening and driving times from Seattle and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport may be significantly longer.

Our Northwest programs begin at the date, time and meeting location listed in the itinerary in your PreClimb Information. Meeting locations may vary depending on program destination. Climbers flying to Washington State must arrive the day before their program begins in order the meet the group for an early morning gear check and orientation. Return times on the final day of the program are difficult to predict. We strongly recommend that climbers book a hotel night following the final day of their itinerary and schedule departure flights on the following day. If departing on the last day of the program, we recommend booking a flight later than 10 pm.

Transportation

Transportation between the meeting location and the trailhead is not included in the price of the trip. Guides are not responsible for providing transportation to team members. We serve both local and out-of-town climbers in our Northwest programs, and many of our guests prefer to use their own vehicles. Team members are free to organize rideshares with other team members. With your permission, our office staff can share your name and contact information with other team members so that you can organize ridesharing. The NWAG office does not coordinate ridesharing or carpooling and we are unable to share customer or guide contact information due to privacy concerns. In rare cases, Northwest Alpine Guides staff may provide limited transportation between the trailhead and Sedro-Woolley as a fee service.

Trailhead Parking

You will need to obtain a NW Forest Pass or equivalent parking permit to leave your car at the trailhead lot. Single-use passes are $5.00 per day. They can be purchased in advance or the day of the gear check. A National Parks pass may suffice.

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 Borseth Road in Sedro-Woolley, 7 min (4.3 mi)

At the traffic circle, take the 3rd exit and onto Borseth Road
Turn left onto F & S Grade Road

The NWAG Guide Hut is the first building on your left

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 Borseth Road in Sedro-Woolley, 7 min (4.3 mi)
Turn left onto F & S Grade Road

The NWAG Guide Hut is the first building on your left

From Burlington

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

Follow Cook Road to Borseth Road in Sedro-Woolley, 7 min (4.3 mi)
Turn left onto F&S Grade Road

The NWAG Guide Hut is the first building on your left

Hotels

Lodging in Burlington and Sedro-Woolley, Washington. If you wish to stay close to the meeting location the night before your climb, we recommend the following options:

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

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

La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Burlington
1670 S Burlington Blvd
Burlington, WA 98233

Mountain Weather

For updated North Cascades weather forecasts, click here.

GEAR LIST

These items are required for our Mount Baker North Ridge climb.

The Guide Hut offers a selection of mountaineering equipment and clothing for purchase and rent. Gear may be purchased from the Guide Hut in person on the morning of your climb, or in advance via our Online Gear Shop. Rental gear must be reserved in advance using our quick rental form. Please read our Guide Picks blog post for gear recommendations by specific brands.

Shop the Guide Hut »Quick Rental Reservation »Gear Recommendations »

Head and Face

  • Warm Hat: Wool or synthetic. Must cover the ears.
  • Buff or Balaclava
  • Sun Hat or Baseball Cap
  • Glacier Glasses: Essential eye protection at altitude. Wrap around style or side shields. A category 4 lens is required.
  • Sunscreen: SPF 30+
  • Lip Balm: SPF 30+
  • Climbing LED Headlamp: Bring one extra set of batteries.

Upper Body

  • Baselayer Tops: One synthetic long-sleeve shirt. Hoods for sun protection are strongly recommended.
  • Mid-layer Top: A synthetic or fleece top.
  • Softshell Jacket: This is a breathable but wind-and-weather resistant jacket. Hoods are highly recommended.
  • Hardshell Jacket: A fully waterproof shell. GORE-TEX© or equivalent. Hoods are required.
  • Insulated Jacket: Medium weight down. 700+ fill or higher required.

Note: Proper hardshell rain gear is required on all trips.

Handwear

  • Lightweight Softshell Gloves: One pair. Leather palms offer durability and grip.
  • Heavyweight Gloves: Insulated glove or mitten with GORE-TEX© or waterproof outer.

Lower Body

  • Baselayer Bottom: One pair. Synthetic, no cotton.
  • Softshell Pants: One pair. Synthetic, stretchy, non-insulated.
  • Hardshell Pants: One pair of GORE-TEX© pants. Full-length side zips are required; you may need to take off your hardshell pants without removing your boots.
  • Gaiters: Full-sized waterproof gaiters that must fit snugly over your mountaineering boots.

Footwear

  • Mountaineering Boots: Full shank crampon compatible double plastic, leather, synthetic, or hybrid boot depending on the season.

Note: Please read our Mountaineering Boots and Crampons guides for recommendations.

● Double plastic mountaineering boots or heavyweight synthetic/hybrid mountaineering boots are required for early season climbs on Mount Baker.

● Single-weight synthetic/leather mountaineering boots are adequate for mid- and late-summer climbs on Mount Baker when conditions are expected to be dry.

X – NO backpacking or trekking boots are allowed above high camp on any trip. Climbing boots must be full shank and crampon compatible.

  • Approach Shoes (Optional): Light hiking boots or sturdy trail running shoes may be adequate for late-season approaches to high camp after trails are free of snow. Must be sturdy enough to support your ankles while carrying a carrying a 35- to 45- pound pack.
  • Mediumweight Socks: Two pair of wool or synthetic socks.
  • Heavyweight Socks: One pair of wool or synthetic socks for sleeping in and for summit day.

Sleeping

  • Sleeping Bag: A warm bag rated 0ᵒ to 20ᵒ Fahrenheit depending on season.
  • Sleeping Pad: A full-length closed-cell foam and/or inflatable pad. Foam AND inflatable pads are recommended for camping on snow during early-season climbs.

Packing and Backpack

  • Backpack: One 65- to 75-liter pack for personal and group gear. Should have an effective waist belt, fit properly and provide good support while carrying 35+ pounds.
  • Liner Bags: 1 large plastic contractor bag.

Note: An adequately sized backpack is required. You are responsible to carry all of your personal gear and food, as well as a portion of group gear (tents, ropes, stoves, fuel, etc.). We do not recommend an additional pack for summit day.

Climbing Gear

  • Ice Axe: 55-75 cm mountaineering axe.
  • Crampons: 12-point steel with anti-balling plates.
  • Climbing Helmet: Lightweight
  • Alpine Harness: Lightweight alpine harness with adjustable leg loops.
  • Trekking Poles: Adjustable and collapsible with snow baskets.
  • Locking Carabiners: (3) Large pear-shaped, screw gate locking carabiners.
  • Non-Locking Carabiners: (2) Wire gate non-locking carabiners.
  • Nylon Slings: (2) 60cm nylon slings.
  • Belay device: Tube style belay device.

Hydration

  • Water Bottles: (2) 1-liter, wide-mouth plastic bottles. NALGENE©

Note: CamelBaks and other bladder-style hydration systems may be used in addition to two water bottles, but are not sufficient. Bladders may pop and hydration hoses freeze in the cold.

Personal Health and First Aid

  • Small personal first-aid kit with medications and blister kit
  • Plastic bowl, insulated mug, and spoon
  • Toilet paper, blue bag or wag bag
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Earplugs

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