Mount Baker, with it’s huge glaciers and lofty size dominate the landscape for over a hundred miles in all directions. This fire breathing mountain is home to the thickest sheets of ice in the contiguous 48 states making this climb one to remember. Our climb starts with full packs in temperate rain-forests. The hike then takes us up and up into gradually changing ecosystems until we reach the sub-alpine Hog’s Back. Here we bathe in views of the Coleman and Roosevelt glaciers with the Canadian Coast range to the North as we set camp.
On summit day we rise early and rope up. From camp to the top the climb is spent entirely on glacier. We climb the Coleman glacier while traversing under the steep rock walls and ice cliffs of the Black-Buttes. This takes us to the Roman Slope where we gain big views to the south and climb the last 1,500 feet to the summit which is 10,770 feet of elevation.
Itinerary and Program Overview
Day 1: 8:00 Meet at Back Country Essentials in down town Bellingham. Introductions, gear check and last chance to buy items. Arrive at Heliotrope ridge trailhead in early afternoon. Hiking begins at 3,200 feet of elevation. We hike three miles up to camp at 5,200.
- Efficient backpacking for climbers
- Map, compass and GPS
- Mountain weather
- Glacier formation
- Intro to crampons and ice axe
- Movement skills on basic snow and ice slopes
- Self arrest
Day 2: Leave camp and practice skills throughout the day.
- Snow School
- Crevasse Rescue
- Prussiking out of a crevasse
- Traveling on a Glacier
- Introduction to Snow and Ice Anchors
- Basic movement on Ice
Day 3: 1:00 AM - 3:00 AM leave camp for summit climb. This will put us on the summit somewhere between 8 and 10 AM. The summit of Mt Baker is at 10,770 feet.
On a clear day onecan see clear to the southern end of the state of Washington, with views of Mt Rainier and the Jagged North Cascade range in between. To the north we get big views into the Canadian Coast range and then of course to the west we look down 10,770 feet to the Puget Sound.
- Time management
- Self Care
- Glacier travel
Mt Baker is a big mountain and climbing to it's top is no small feet. In order for you as well as everyone in the group to have a positive experience we have compiled a quick punch list of requirements in order to join a climb:
- Experience hiking at least 6 miles in one day
- Experience with overnight backpacking
- Exercise on a regular basis
- Experience hiking uphill for at least 2 hours.